Swiss won't co-operate with Russia on Yukos case

Switzerland has refused to co-operate with Russia and hand over bank files relating to the bankrupt oil company Yukos, according to the Swiss Prosecutor General's office. The federal court in Lausanne has refused to supply the information to Moscow, sayin

Yukos was Russia's largest oil producer before it was charged with tax evasion in 2004 and its accounts were frozen.

This is a politically motivated decision. While earlier we could see Swiss authorities and judiciary keeping themselves in a legal framework, now we have to deal with politics.The Federal Court in Lausanne was led by political arguments. That means intervention in the sovereign rights of Russia's judicial system,

Aslan Abashidze, professor of law
There are still almost $US 2.5 MLN in Yukos bank accounts in Switzerland.

Experts in Moscow say the court’s decision is politically motivated.

“This is a politically motivated decision. While earlier we could see Swiss authorities and judiciary keeping themselves in a legal framework, now we have to deal with politics.The Federal Court in Lausanne was led by political arguments. That means intervention in the sovereign rights of Russia's judicial system,” believes Aslan Abashidze, professor of law.

Still, he says it is possible that Yukos bank accounts might be unfrozen.

“Logically thinking, there should be another step by the Swiss court. Taken that Yukos's defence are going to ask the court to unfreeze the company's accounts in Switzerland, the step will be to satisfy their request. This will further complicate the situation and can even harm Russian-Swiss relations,” concluded Professor of Law, Aslan Abashidze.