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Russia purposely bankrupted oil giant Yukos, says Dutch court

The court found that Yukos' bankruptcy could not be recognized under Dutch law and that an asset sell-off in 2007 was unlawful


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THE HAGUE, Netherlands—A Dutch appeals court ruled Tuesday that Russian authorities knowingly plunged oil conglomerate Yukos into bankruptcy in 2006 by ordering it to pay huge tax bills, the latest ruling in a long-running battle over the assets of a Dutch Yukos subsidiary.

Amsterdam Appeals Court said the Yukos bankruptcy could not be recognized under Dutch law and that a curator appointed to sell off parts of Yukos in 2007 did not have the right to sell the shares in Dutch-based Yukos Finance BV.

The shares were bought at auction for $307 million by Promneftstroi, the Dutch court said.

A foundation representing former Yukos shareholders welcomed the decision, which upheld a 2007 ruling by a lower court.

Former Yukos Chief Executive Steve Theede said in a statement the Dutch ruling “exposed the extent to which the Russian Federation will go to manipulate the legal process and ignore the rule of law.”

Theede said the Amsterdam ruling “should resolve the case once and for all.”

There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities.

Courts around the world have examined the Yukos case as former shareholders attempt to recover assets.

In 2014, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that Russia launched “a full assault on Yukos and its beneficial owners in order to bankrupt Yukos and appropriate its assets” and silence its CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

However, another Dutch court last year quashed that ruling, and a $50 billion award Russia had been ordered to pay, saying the arbitration panel did not have jurisdiction in the case.


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