The applicant was represented by Mr P. Gardner, a lawyer practising in London.
The applicant, Yukos, was a large privately-owned oil company. In 2002 the company was found guilty of repeated tax fraud. In 2004, following enforcement proceedings, the company’s assets were seized and its bank accounts partly frozen. The Moscow Commercial Court ordered the company to pay the equivalent of 2,847,497,802 EUR in taxes, interest and penalties. Yukos
made several appeals complaining about procedural irregularities and lack of time to prepare a defence, but none succeeded. In September 2004, the Tax Ministry found Yukos guilty of further tax offences in the years after 2000. The company was ordered to pay sums of a similar magnitude for the years 2001-3 as well as a bailiffs’ enforcement fee of 7% of the total debt. Despite numerous requests to postpone the payment date, payment was required within very short deadlines. On 19 December 2004, 76.79% of Yukos’s most valuable subsidiary was auctioned to cover Yukos’s tax liability. Yukos was declared insolvent on 4 August 2006 and liquidated on 12 November 2007.
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