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    Yukos hearing in Strasbourg court postponed until March

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    A hearing in a suit filed in the European Court of Human Rights by former Russian oil giant Yukos, which demands $98 billion from Russia, has been postponed until March 4, the court said Tuesday.

    A hearing in a suit filed in the European Court of Human Rights by former Russian oil giant Yukos, which demands $98 billion from Russia, has been postponed until March 4, the court said Tuesday.

    Yukos turned to the Strasbourg court in 2004 with a complaint against Russian tax authorities' actions, which it argued were an illegal seizure of property.

    It is the third time the hearing has been postponed because Andrei Bushev, a judge acting on behalf of Russia, and Georgy Matyushkin, Russia's envoy at the European Court of Human Rights, were unable to attend, the court said.

    The previous hearing was scheduled for January 14, 2010.

    Yukos formally ceased to exist in November 2007, after its assets had been sold off through a series of liquidation auctions to meet vast creditor claims. State oil company Rosneft bought up the lion's share of the production assets, becoming one of Russia's largest oil producers.

    Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky was sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. He has consistently denied all charges against him, saying he was punished for supporting the tiny pro-Western political opposition. He claims the liquidation of Yukos was engineered by corrupt government officials aiming to seize lucrative oil assets.

    Yukos says the Russian authorities violated several articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, including the right to a fair trial, protection of property and freedom from discrimination.

    PARIS, January 12 (RIA Novosti) 

     

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