During an interview on Radio Liberty, Inna Khodorkovskaya, wife of former Yukos Chairman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, today announced that the home where she and her children live may be taken away from them. Moscow's Basmanny Court, which after Khodorkovsky's arrest three years ago ruled to keep him in pretrial detention (he is now serving an eight year sentence in a Siberian prison camp), has threatened to seize their property and the surrounding land, as part of a confiscation of the Yukos compound Yabloveny Sad ("Apple Garden"), located in the town of Zhukovka, west of Moscow. The Khodorkovsky family, along with other Yukos Managers and their families, has lived in Yabloveny Sad since before the first Yukos arrest in 2003. "The area where we live at the moment was ordered to be seized in May, which is why I say that 'for now' we live in Zhukovka. Now they are targeting the women and children. I now have to think about where I should rent an apartment. I don't know what they will do next," said Inna Khodorkovskaya.
Khodorkovsky's wife and family still live in their house, but are afraid that they may be evicted any day. Khodorkovskaya declared that she and her three children have no plans to leave Russia, even if they are evicted from their home on the Yukos grounds. Her primary concern now is finding an apartment to rent that is located near the children's schools.
The court's decision to seize the property was signed by judge Solopova O. of the Basmanny court on May 2, 2006, as part of an ongoing investigation, led by the General Prosecutor's Office, against Irina Golub, the general manager of Yukos's accounting company OOO Yukos-FBC. The investigation alleges that during the period between 2000 and 2003 Golub and an unidentified group committed tax evasion, a crime under article 199 of the Russian Criminal Code. The General Prosecutor's Office believes that Golub and others used shell companies to avoid paying taxes on Yukos subsidiaries.
This case has garnered significant international media attention, focusing on irregularities in the investigation process.
The order to seize the Yabloveny Sad compound is another example in a continued pattern of harassment of the family, including unlawful searches of their home, visits to the daughter's school, and the seizure of the Podmoskovny Lyceum, a school for orphans founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and run by his parents, which was also seized recently as part of the court's decision.
Read the whole text of the interview »