Mikhail Khodorkovsky Gets $100 Million In Frozen Assets Back

US Urges Russian Action As Tension Mounts In Eastern Ukraine

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oligarch and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is in the money again. An Irish court has ordered the unfreezing of more than $100 million of his assets.

The funds were originally frozen in 2011 when Khodorkovsky was charged with tax evasion in Russia. He has denied all charges, dismissing them as politically motivated, and was released from prison in 2013.

Dublin District Court Judge Timothy Lucey ruled on Wednesday that no evidence had been brought forward to support the tax charges of money laundering which had been alleged against Mikhail Khodorkovsky saying, “He maintains his innocence and claims he has been persecuted for his political views and that the charges against him were false and were for the purpose of the Russian state getting control of Yukos oil asset.”

The Russian government was, of course, not happy with the ruling. It issued a statement complaining that it was taken by surprise saying, “The Irish authorities did not notify us about the proceedings and therefore we could not participate and submit evidence despite being ready and willing.”

As for Khodorkovsky, he was of course thrilled and had this to say on Twitter: “I’ll upset the trolls. Irish court supported my application to unfreeze account blocked since 2011. Lies about laundering exactly that.”

And the Russian businessman also posted the following statement on his website:

“Mikhail Khodorkovsky today welcomed the decision of the Dublin District Court to grant his Section 19 application under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 to unfreeze assets in an investment fund, worth in excess of $100 million, of which Mr Khodorkovsky is a beneficiary. Mr Khodorkovsky further welcomed the Judge outlining in his decision that the monies invested in Ireland are not the proceeds of criminal activity.”

“Mr Khodorkovsky has indicated he will use some of the funds to support the work of the Open Russia movement, which he founded in 2014. He spent over 10 years in jail (2003-2013) on politically motivated charges. In May 2011, he was declared a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.”

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