Lawsuit to quash YUKOS subsidiary's $360 mln loans postponed until May 28
MOSCOW, May 22 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court has declared a recess until May 28 for the hearing of the lawsuit to invalidate four loan agreements between Luxemburg-based Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. and Yuganskneftegaz amounting to $360.5 million, the court told the Russian Legal Information agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
Vesta investment company, a Rosneft shareholder, acts as the plaintiff. It maintains that the loans were issued to Yuganskneftegaz in breach of the law. The agreements were signed in July-August 2004 and were set to mature in 2007.
The complaint was filed against Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. and Rosneft, which later took over the former YUKOS subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz.
On Tuesday, Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. gave its answer to the complaint and Vesta requested the court to delay the trial by a minimum of two weeks to allow it time to review the documents and prepare its arguments. However, Judge Olga Alexandrova noted that the litigation has been underway since 2007, the last session had been held a month and a half previously and the parties had been given plenty of time for preparations.
"The court regards your conduct as procrastination," said the judge and scheduled the next hearing for May 28.
Vesta holds that the transactions were bogus and intended to cover up the transfer of funds subject to confiscation from Yuganskneftegaz to Yukos Capital S.a.r.l in the form of a loan.
The lawsuit was submitted in 2007, but its consideration was suspended until the criminal case against former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev had come to an end.
In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced both men to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were to be released in 2017, taking into consideration the time they had already served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year and now they are expected to be released in 2016.