German investigators have accidentally come across bank accounts owned by jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of his family during a raid at the Munster office of Swiss bank Julius Baer, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.
According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the data check at the bank was carried out to identify clients evading taxes. Khodorkovsky’s Julius Baer accounts contained over 15 million euros.
The paper said a criminal case against Khodorkovsky on money laundering was initiated in Germany several months ago but did not mention whether the probe was still under way.
Khodorkovsky’s defense team said they had no information about any inquiry opened against their client abroad.
“We know nothing of the kind,” Vadim Klyuvgant said.
In late 2010 Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company, and his business partner Platon Lebedev were sentenced to 14 years each for oil embezzlement and money laundering. The term included the seven years they had already served, mostly in Chita in eastern Siberia. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were initially told they would have to stay in jail until 2017 but on May 24 the Moscow City Court ruled that jailed former businessmen would be set free in 2016 after the court cut their total sentence from 14 to 13 years each.