MOSCOW, September 20 - RAPSI. The European court has acknowledged that YUKOS, the former oil giant, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, evaded taxes using shell companies, the Russian Justice Ministry reported on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the court dismissed YUKOS' allegation that its tax evasion scheme was approved by the authorities.

The European court said the oil company used a complex scheme, which involved shell companies registered in low-tax regions in Russia to minimize taxes, the ministry reported.

The court also dismissed the company's statement that the tax authorities and courts "were well aware of the YUKOS tax scheme, approved it and called it legal." YUKOS failed to submit any credible evidence to prove its case, the court said.