Hague court to rule in $50 billion Yukos arbitration case

Dutch Court Reinstates Order For Russia To Pay $50 Billion In Yukos Case

Russia Ordered to Pay $50Bln to Yukos Shareholders

A Dutch appeals court on Tuesday overturned the annulment of a $50 billion award to shareholders in the now defunct Russian oil giant Yukos, a surprise ruling 13 years after the assets came under control of the Kremlin.

The ruling overturned a 2016 decision by The Hague District Court that quashed the compensation order on the grounds that the arbitration panel did not have jurisdiction because the case was based on an energy treaty that Russian Federation had signed but not ratified.

The PCA had ruled in July 2014 that four plaintiffs - not including Khodorkovsky - were entitled to compensation for the loss of their holdings, entitling them to seize Russian state assets.

In the summer that year, ex-shareholders appealed to the Hague Court of Appeal to reverse the district court's decision and restore the arbitral awards.

29 2003 a Russian police officer walks past the logo of Russian oil giant Yukos in Moscow. — AFP pic

The verdict is the latest stage in a protracted legal battle, with Russia's Justice Ministry saying in a reaction it would appeal at the Dutch Supreme Court.

Yukos was declared bankrupt in 2006 and its assets were tendered and finally incorporated into Russia's major oil and gas company Rosneft.

The Appeals Court in The Hague said a previous Dutch court ruling in favour of the Russian state was incorrect.

"The arbitration court had jurisdiction under the Energy Treaty Charter (ECT)", the appeals court said in its statement. "A brutal kleptocracy has been held to account", Tim Osborne, the chief executive of GML, a company made up of Yukos shareholders, said in a statement.

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The long-awaited ruling comes just about 14 decades soon after the when effective organization submitted for bankruptcy and follows a controversial 2014 ruling that requested Russian Federation to spend out billions of bucks in payment to its former shareholders.

Moscow "will continue on to defend its respectable pursuits and, in an attractiveness, contest the verdict", Russia's justice ministry mentioned in a assertion.

His majority-owned company subsequently was dismantled and absorbed by state-owned Rosneft in 2004 - then a tiny company.

Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2013.

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Khodorkovsky, who is no longer a stakeholder, spent a decade in prison on charges of tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement which he and his supporters say were trumped up in revenge for his political ambitions.

The question "relates to the circumstances of the Yukos takeover by the Russian oligarchs during its privatisation in 1995 and 1996", Russian government lawyer Andrea Pinna told AFP ahead of the ruling.

"Russia considers that the acquisition of Yukos was only possible through corruption and other illegal acts", Pinna said.

Emmanuel Gaillard, representing former shareholders, told AFP that "Russia is making considerable diplomatic efforts to try and discredit the players in this case" which he called "the greatest expropriation of the 21st century".

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