Russia jails ex-Yukos executive to 8 years in absentia

18th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Russian court on Monday sentenced the former head of a subsidiary of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Yukos oil giant to eight years jail in absentia on charges of embezzlement, a court official said.

According to the verdict announced by the Basmanny Court earlier Monday, Antonio Valdes Garcia's guilt has been "fully proven," a court official told AFP. According to website of Khodorkovsky's lawyers, Valdes Garcia is a dual Spanish-Russian national.

Valdes Garcia, who fled Russia from under house arrest to Spain, headed the Fargoil subsidiary of Khodorkovsky's Yukos oil giant.

The prosecution claimed the director of Fargoil, a company that received crude oil from Yukos' oil producing companies, embezzled $13 billion.

He laundered money by selling it at inflated prices and channeling profits to offshore accounts, the prosecution claimed.

Imprisoned Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who testified for his ex-colleague last month, said Valdes Garcia had "very limited powers" and if he breached any instructions, he would have known about it.

Russia attempted to extradite Valdes Garcia in 2009 but the request was refused by Spain, which does not extradite its nationals.

Khodorkovsky has been been in prison since 2003 and was in December convicted of a second set of fraud charges.

© 2011 AFP

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