Russian Prosecutor General demands €11.7 million in unpaid fines from Mikhail Khodorkovsky — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Russian Prosecutor General demands €11.7 million in unpaid fines from Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Photo: EPA/PETER SCHNEIDER

Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Photo: EPA/PETER SCHNEIDER

The Russian Prosecutor General’s office has demanded the payment of €11.7 million by former oligarch turned opposition politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his erstwhile business partner Platon Lebedev, state news agency TASS reported on Monday.

TASS said the lawsuit related to “the non-payment of 17.4 billion rubles (€177 million) in fines for tax crimes as previously established by the court”, a reference to fines issued to Khodorkovsky and Platonov as part of the Yukos case.

Khodorkovsky was the chairman and CEO of the Yukos Oil Company from 1995 until 2003 when he was arrested on embezzlement and tax evasion charges. Considered to be one of the richest people in the world at the time of his arrest, with an estimated fortune of $15 billion (€12.75 billion), Khodorkovsky was widely believed to have been made an example of after he began getting involved in politics, breaking an informal agreement Putin struck with Russia’s oligarchs during his first term in office.

Sentenced to 14 years in prison, Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Vladimir Putin in 2013, and left Russia shortly afterwards from where he has remained a vocal Kremlin critic and has supported a number of democratic initiatives.

In mid-May, the Prosecutor General’s Office petitioned a Moscow court to bring charges against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, the former head of Menatep, and against the Siberian Leasing Company, though the charges were not originally made public.

Lebedev was also found guilty of embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering and served nine years in prison.

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