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Russia arbitration judge declares Yukos bankrupt

[JURIST] A Russian arbitration court judge declared oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive; corporate website; Wikipedia backgrounder] bankrupt Tuesday and said the company may be liquidated to pay creditors. The decision, which had been expected, confirms a vote taken by Yukos' creditors last week. A Yukos lawyer described Tuesday's decision as a "death sentence" for the company, once the primary producer of oil in Russia [JURIST news archive]. Yukos' bankruptcy supervisor, Eduard Rebgun, will be paid 1.8 million rubles ($67,000 US) a month to liquidate the company.

To pay off Yukos' back taxes, the company's largest production unit was sold [JURIST report] in 2004 to a state-controlled oil group. That conglomerate, OAO Rosneft [corporate profile, English version], now ranks as one of Yukos' largest creditors, along with the Federal Tax Service. Yukos' downfall began after its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive], was convicted of tax evasion [JURIST report] in May 2005 - a prosecution that critics contend was politically motivated, despite denials by Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website; BBC profile]. AP has more. MosNews has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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