Moscow, July 18, 2003 - In connection with information being disseminated by the Procuracy-General on the investigation of seven criminal cases "one way or another having to do with YUKOS Oil Company", the Company's press service considers it necessary to make the following statement:
The so-called "Platon Lebedev case", as well as the "tax evasion case" have no legal grounds, and everybody recognizes that they have no chance of success - including representatives of the Procuracy-General. Because of this, YUKOS Oil Company is convinced that the above "cases" will collapse before they get to court.
Given that it has no evidence on the basis of which to incriminate YUKOS Oil Company in any economic wrongdoing, the Procuracy-General is attempting to save face by causing maximum damage to the Company's reputation. It is this cynical calculation that is behind the attempt to associate YUKOS Oil Company with the felonies committed several years ago against the persons indicated in the Procuracy-General's announcement.
Such actions on the part of the Procuracy-General are cause for grave concern, since they will inevitably lead to efforts to distort the meaning of materials previously obtained by investigators, in order to be able to more easily fabricate evidence against YUKOS Oil Company.
All of the Procuracy-General's recent actions against YUKOS Oil Company have been characterized by a flagrant violation of criminal-procedure laws, so that any efforts to destroy the Company's reputation are doomed from the start. The Procuracy-General is attempting to use crude propaganda to make up for the lack of any evidence whatsoever in the criminal cases "one way or another having to do with YUKOS Oil Company," as the result of which the public is finding out about criminal cases that have been opened even before charges have formally been filed.
YUKOS Oil Company is confident that the actions of the Procuracy-General will ultimately be judged from the proper legal perspective.