Progress of inquiry in legality of purchasing shares of oil company Yukos

Before voicing some information of the inquiry, I would like to ask one simple question: What for does an honest buyer, who has paid for the goods, keeps registering those goods for other people, while keeping the goods at home? What goals might such a buyer have? I think that the answer will be clear from the following information.

According to investigators, the 1995 privatization of YUKOS violated competition and antimonopoly laws. At the time, Khodorkovsky’s team had ZAO Laguna and ZAO Reagent owned by Khodorkovsky take part in an investment tender and security auction and lied that the companies were independent legal entities. Laguna won both the tender and the auction, but the shares were paid for by MENATEP joint stock bank with the money most of which were taken from its clients and depositors. Laguna did not have any money of its own. MENATEP did not get back the money and got bankrupt few years later. This way, Khodorkovsky got the shares for nothing, using other’s money, that means that he in fact stole them.

When he had gotten YUKOS shares at lower price, he promised to invest 350 million US dollars to develop the oil company, but did not do it.

To foul the trail and avoid possible risks that the deals with YUKOS shares might be recognized illegal, the shares registered many times, at first to different Russian companies, and then apparently fearing that those scams would be revealed, he decided to register the shares on foreign companies. Eventually, Halley Enterprises Limited, Yukos Universal Limited and Veteran Petroleum Limited registered on Cyprus and the Isle of Man became the owners of the shares. All of those companies were also controlled by Khodorkovsky and the payment for the shares was reflected in the documents for appearances’ sake, though was not affected in fact. The investigators have the evidence of the witnesses, the directors of those companies who confirmed that they had had no independent opinion, but had had followed the owner’s orders on how to dispose of the shares and that they had just travelled from one company to another.

Considering the abovementioned circumstances, neither Halley Enterprises Limited, Yukos Universal Limited and Veteran Petroleum Limited, nor Khodorkovsky did not invest anything, as the shares were stolen in the first place. This is why the said companies are not investors and had no right to file an action with the Hague International Court of Arbitration claiming that their investors’ rights had been violated. The application procedure was violation, and so the court’s decision is not executor.

At this point, in the interest of the investigation I cannot name all the evidence, but even the abovementioned facts are enough to conclude that Khodorkovsky got those shares from the state for a song and in fact stole them and now he is trying to arrange another scam using international courts and hoping to get from the state – from you and me – another 50 billion US dollars (though he made a bold push for 100 billion).

Head of Media Relations                                                                                                                                 V.I. Markin