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Khodorkovsky Should Get $35,000 for Rights Abuse, Court Says

Mikhail KhodorkovskyMay 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Russian government must pay Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former chief executive officer of Yukos Oil Co., 24,543 euros ($35,300) for violating his human rights by jailing him in "inhuman and degrading conditions," a court ruled.

The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France, ruled Russia breached the law when detaining Khodorkovsky following his arrest in 2003. The court dismissed claims that his arrest on fraud charges was politically motivated, saying the accusations required "incontestable proof, which had not been presented."

Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man and a critic of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was sentenced last year to another six years beyond his eight-year prison term for fraud and tax evasion. The additional sentence was reduced by a year earlier this month.

"Mr. Khodorkovsky had been kept in inhuman and degrading conditions between 8 August and 9 October 2005," the court said in a statement today. "In particular, he had had less than four square meters of personal space in his cell, and the sanitary conditions had been appalling."

The Russian Supreme Court said it would respond to the decision by the Court of Human Rights as soon as this ruling takes effect, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Khodorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev have asked a Moscow court for parole and the court will decide in the next few days whether to officially consider it, a spokeswoman for the Court in Moscow said.

'Offensive and Degrading'

"The European court recognized repeated violations" of Khodorkovsky's basic rights, Karina Moskalenko, one of the former executive's lawyers, said in a statement published on the defense team's website today. "This shows that his treatment was illegal from the start, and that he was then subjected to offensive and degrading treatment. This is an important step toward finally defending his rights."

Moskalenko said proof of the political motivation for the cases against Khodorkovsky had been strengthened since this first complaint was filed with the Strasbourg court in February 2004, according to the statement.

Article ©2011 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; article also appeared at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-31/russia-should-pay-khodorkovsky-35-000-for-human-rights-abuse-court-says.html

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Russia, YUKOS, Khodorkovsky - Russia News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

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