Dutch court ruling awards jailed Yukos investor a share of $850m

Platon Lebedev, the former Yukos investor locked up in a maximum-security prison in the Polar Ural region of Siberia, was given uncommon cause for celebration yesterday. A Dutch court awarded him and other shareholders in the defunct oil group $850m (£424m) they lost when it was forced into bankruptcy in 2005.

Mr Lebedev owns about 10 per cent of GML, the company formerly known as Group Menatep that made the complaint. The Dutch court upheld an earlier decision from a London arbitration court, which found that Yukos' unwillingness to repay the balance of a loan that Menatep granted to the company was unlawful.

The judgment is just one aspect of a much larger case. GML hopes to extract up to $100bn from the Russian government in compensation for what it alleges was a Kremlin-orchestrated plan to bankrupt the company and ruin its chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is also serving time in Siberia on tax evasion charges

Tim Osborne, the London attorney who heads GML and is leading the legal fight, said the ruling bolsters the bigger case. "The importance of this is that it demonstrates that notwithstanding all of Russia's efforts, once the Western courts get their hand on this, right is done and we get paid."

Yukos International, the Dutch subsidiary that was the defendant in the case, has already paid out the award. In addition to a Guernsey-registered company that ultimately benefits Mr Lebedev, the spoils were divided between several oligarchs. The biggest beneficiary was Leonid Nevzlin, in exile in Israel, who owns about 60 per cent of GML. The rest is owned by Mikhail Brudno, Vladimir Dubov and Vasily Shakhnovsky.

After Khodorkovsky's arrest in 2003, Yukos was broken up and sold, with most assets going to the state-controlled Rosneft at knockdown prices. Rosneft is now worth nearly $90bn.

Yukos was the biggest holding of Menatep, an investment vehicle originally set up by Khodorkovsky. He has long since given up any interest in the group. Its claims were first estimated to be worth around $30bn. But as the oil price has climbed, the size of the loss plus damages has ballooned.

The next legal hurdle for GML comes in November, where a court in The Hague will hear arguments over whether its claims against Yukos, now Rosneft, can be validly brought in Dutch jurisdiction.

Yukos International said yesterday that it would pursue an orderly liquidation of the estimated $1.1bn in assets remaining at the company and disburse it among the more than 50,000 investors who lost billions when Yukos imploded.

Bruce Misamore, managing director of the company said: "There is more to be done but we are now in a strong position to begin to determine how to compensate Yukos Oil Company shareholders both inside and outside Russia who lost their entire investment as a result of the Russian Federation's illegal expropriation".

Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits