The European Court of Human Rights has awarded Yukos shareholders 1.9 billion euros ($2.54 billion) in compensation. The now defunct oil company successfully argued that Russia unlawfully seized it in 2003.
Only two days after the arbitration court in The Hague awarded Yukos shareholders 37 billion euros for Moscow’s seizure of their company, the ECHR said Moscow must also pay almost 2 billion euros for what it termed its unlawful confiscation and sell-off.
Once valued at almost 30 billion euros, Yukos was primarily owned by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
But after being bankrupted by what the ECHR called bogus taxes it was broken up and sold off to other, state-owned, companies. Khodorkovsky was jailed on tax evasion charges. He left for Switzerland after being released by Russian President Vladimir Putin late last year.
Russia has already slammed Tuesday's Hague arbitration court verdict as ''politically biased'' and intends to appeal.
bw/hg (Reuters, AFP)