Dutch Court Overturns $50 Billion Judgment in Yukos Ex-Shareholders Case
OREANDA-NEWS. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has referred a lawsuit filed by former Yukos shareholders against the Russian authorities to the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam for reconsideration.
"In 2020, the Court of Appeal in The Hague upheld a 2014 arbitration award ordering the Russian Federation to pay around $50 billion in compensation to three former major shareholders in the Yukos oil company. Today, the Supreme Court overturned the final decision of the court of appeal, as well as the previous ruling. The Supreme Court satisfied one of the grounds of appeal of the Russian Federation. <...> The other grounds have been rejected," reads the ruling published on the website of the top court.
It is stressed that in ruling on the compensation, the appellate judges wrongly rejected the Russian lawyers' argument of possible fraud by the company's owners.
In July 2014, an arbitration court in The Hague unanimously upheld the claim of the former majority shareholders of Yukos and ordered Russia to pay them some $50 billion. Russia challenged this decision, and in April 2016 a district court in The Hague invalidated it. However, in February 2020, the Court of Appeal in The Hague still ordered the defendant to pay $50 billion.
In May 2020, Russia filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The Ministry of Justice noted that, among other things, the appellate court neglected numerous facts of the plaintiffs' violation of Russian anti-corruption and "anti-fraud" regulations. It is alleged that the ex-shareholders took possession of the company's assets after proven collusion, fictitious bidding and bribing of officials responsible for its privatisation. In addition, while managing it, the former owners systematically failed to pay taxes, illegally took the company's property abroad and "laundered" money," the agency said.