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Jan. 12, 2005
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YUKOS Lawyer Shows Signs of Three Crimes
// Prosecution
It became known Monday that the Basmanny Court gave the Prosecutor General's Office permission to begin a criminal case against Pavel Ivlev, a partner in the law firm ALM Feldmans, which handles YUKOS. An investigation has found evidence that Ivlev misappropriated $2.4 billion belonging to YUKOS, laundering $810 million and evading the oil company's taxes. He is the third YUKOS lawyer the Prosecutor General has labeled a participant in a criminal group.
Last November, when the trial of former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky entered the defense evidence phase, the Prosecutor General began changing the company's lawyers from witnesses to defendants. On November 18, the prosecutor announced the absentee arrest of lawyer Dmitry Gololobov, head of the YUKOS law department who is now in London. He was implicated in the organization of the misappropriation of stock of YUKOS subsidiary Eastern Oil Company. Those stocks had been voluntarily returned two years ago and then seized in the court case. A month later an accusation of embezzlement was leveled against the deputy head of the YUKOS law department Svetlana Bakhmina and managing partner in the ALM Feldmans law firm Elena Agranovskaya. Bakhmina is in custody, but Agranovskaya was released on a written undertaking not to flee after spending a week in the prison hospital because of high blood pressure.

It is notable that they hinted to Agranovskaya at her interrogation that she had been arrested in the place of ALM Feldmans partner for civil law Ivlev, who was inaccessible in London. It was Ivlev who handled YUKOS, while Agranovskaya signed documents related to the case in her capacity as managing partner. Now investigators have taken the first steps in charging Ivlev himself by asking the Basmanny District Court for confirmation of evidence in his actions of three crimes, misappropriation of funds entrusted to him, money laundering and serving as an accomplice in tax evasion.

Photo: www.alm-feldmans.ru
Pavel Ivlev
The petition by the Prosecutor General to that effect was examined by Judge Natalya Dudar and well-known lawyer Yury Bagraev represented the interests of Ivlev. Bagraev stated that the prosecutor's office violated the principle of cognizance ensconced in article 448 of the Criminal Process Code, which says that such a petition should be examined at the place of the perpetration of the alleged crime, not at the place of preliminary investigation, that is, in the Khamovnichesky Court, not in Bassmany. Judge Dudar's response to this claim was to cite the aforementioned article and add, Therefore, the Prosecutor General's Office has filed its petition properly in the Basmanny Court, since the Prosecutor General office for the investigation of especially important cases is located at 2 Tekhnichesky Pereulok, within its jurisdiction.

Photo: www.alm-feldmans.ru
Elena Agranovskaya
The Basmanny Court gave investigators permission to open a criminal case against Ivlev under three articles of the Criminal Code. A Kommersant correspondent asked Genrikh Reznik, president of the Moscow bar association, to comment on the fact that the petition was considered in Basmanny Court. With all due respect to Judge Dudar, he replied, I give her erudition and analytical capability its due. She seems to think that that Ivlev committed the crime right in the Prosecutor General's investigator's office. Personally, I see a jibe at the accusers on the part of the judge in this.

Bagraev, Ivlev's lawyer, said that he would appeal to the Moscow Municipal Court and called Judge Dudar's confirmation illegal and groundless. Ivlev himself did not comment, saying only that he does not consider himself guilty of anything and hopes to return to Russia after "studying abroad."
Ekaterina Zapodinskaya

All the Article in Russian as of Jan. 12, 2005

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