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  Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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A Moscow district court has postponed hearings in the case of an employee of embattled oil company Yukos charged with embezzlement and tax evasion
A Moscow district court has postponed hearings in the case of an employee of embattled oil company Yukos charged with embezzlement and tax evasion, a lawyer said Monday. Svetlana Bakhmina's lawyer Olga Kozyreva said hearings had been postponed until March 30, as her client had been taken ill. Bakhmina is charged with embezzling eight billion rubles (about $300 million) from regional oil companies while deputy head of the Yukos-Moskva legal department. Prosecutors have asked the Simonovsky Court for a nine-year prison sentence. State prosecutor Nikolai Vlasov said prosecutors had provided strong evidence in the case. "[Bakhmina's] guilt has been proven beyond doubt," he said. Kozyreva said her defendant pleaded innocent to the charges. "My defendant told the court she was not materially responsible. The board made all decisions collectively." She also said that tax-evasion charges against Bakhmina were baseless, since her defendant did not intend to commit a crime and had already paid 606,040 rubles (about $20,000) in back taxes for 2001-2002. Bakhmina was arrested on December 10, 2004, following an investigation by the Prosecutor General's Office, which said she was part of a group that embezzled property worth a total of eight billion rubles belonging to Tomskneft and Eastern Oil Company.
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