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  Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev will soon face new money-laundering charges
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev will soon face new money-laundering charges, announced the Prosecutor General's officers. The prosecution is doing so as it has no leg to stand on with the available case, explains the defense. That was what eminent Genrikh Padva, one of the former Yukos proprietor's lawyers, said to RIA Novosti in a telephone interview. "They see the case is collapsing, and the verdict may be contrary to what they want. That's why they have come up with threats," he said. "If the defendants are convicted at least on one instant of alleged frauds, the top prosecutor's men will have a catch to pile up money-laundering charges," said Konstantin Rivkin, who is defending Platon Lebedev, Menatep finance group CEO. Today's announcement by the prosecution is sheer pressure on the court. "The prosecution might be out to neutralize the upcoming verdict, if it turns out to be humane to whatever extent. The men are anxious to prove to the whole world that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are criminals-that's clear," said Evgeni Baru, another of Lebedev's lawyers. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev will be indicted again, and quite soon, Natalia Vishnyakova, the Prosecutor General's chief of PR, said to a news conference today. The new charges will focus on several billions of rubles laundered, she specified. The Meschansky district court is to announce its sentence on the Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev and Andrei Krainov case, May 16. It put off the verdict from April 27, without specifying the reason. The available Khodorkovsky and Lebedev indictment involves seven Criminal Code clauses, in particular, tax evasion and fraud involving huge sums.
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