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AKIPRESS.COM - An international tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, has awarded the shareholders of the now-defunct Yukos oil company about $50 billion in ruling on claims that the Russian government illegally seized the company from one of the country's most powerful oligarchs, New York Times said.
"We are thrilled with this decision, although we know it is not the end of the road," said Tim Osborne, director of GML, the holding company created by Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The verdict Monday by a three-judge arbitration panel is an important development in a saga that began in 2003 when Russian authorities arrested Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest man at the time, and began breaking up and selling his main asset, Yukos Oil.
Khodorkovsky, who has always contended that the charges of embezzlement and tax fraud brought against him were baseless and politically motivated, was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin last year, after having spent about 10 years in jail.
The ruling concerned a case brought in 2005 in The Hague by former majority shareholders of Yukos under the provisions of the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty, which sets rules for cross-border energy transactions. Russia signed the treaty but never ratified it.
It is unlikely Khodorkovsky will benefit financially from the verdict, as he says he handed over his stake to a partner.