Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Spaniard Convicted of Yukos Subsidiary Theft

A Moscow court has convicted a Spanish citizen in absentia on charges of embezzling $13 billion from a subsidiary of the now-defunct Yukos oil company.

The conviction of Antonio Valdes-Garcia on Monday came despite imprisoned Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky's testimony that he didn't know of any such embezzlement.

Valdes-Garcia, who has dual Russian-Spanish citizenship, escaped from house arrest in Russia in 2007 and is now in Spain. He headed a Yukos subsidiary called Fargoil.

Interfax said prosecutors are seeking a 13-year sentence.

Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 and convicted of embezzlement and tax fraud in prosecutions that supporters claim were Kremlin punishment for his funding of opposition parties. Yukos assets were auctioned off, much of them going to state oil company Rosneft.

Valdes-Garcia fled Russia in 2003, when the state case against Yukos began. He was charged in absentia, but returned to Russia in 2005 to give evidence in exchange for being classified as a witness rather than a suspect.

He claimed Russian officials reneged on the deal and forced him to partially confess. He was placed under house arrest, during which time he said he received police threats that he should implicate Khodorkovsky and others. He claimed to have been severely beaten after he vowed to go public about the threats.

Valdes-Garcia said he filed a report saying he sustained the injuries in a fall from a window in exchange for promises he wouldn't suffer further violence.

But he escaped from house arrest in Moscow in January 2007 after reportedly locking his police guards inside his apartment.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more