European court deems YUKOS trials unfair but politically unmotivated
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MOSCOW, September 20 - RAPSI. The European Court of Human Rights has deemed the trials against the YUKOS oil giant unfair, but found no political bias, according to the court's website.
The court postponed the hearing on YUKOS' claim for about $98 billion in damages.
According to the court, the parties may reach a settlement on the amount of damages.
The court has not recognized Russia as violating Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits discrimination, including on the basis of political convictions, and Article 18, which sets limits to rights restriction.
Meanwhile, the court declared that Russia is in breach of Article 6, which provides for the right to a fair trial.
The YUKOS case has been one of the most high profile in Russia in recent years.
In the early 2000s, the authorities accused the executives of YUKOS, then the country's largest oil company, of embezzlement and tax evasion.
YUKOS was later declared bankrupt and its assets were transferred to the state-run Rosneft. Many in the West believe the case against YUKOS was politically driven, but Moscow denies the charges.
YUKOS appealed to the Strasbourg court in 2004 against the Russian tax authorities for illegal property seizure. The court accepted the claim in 2009.