Sunday, 6 June 2010

U.S. oil expert testifies for Khodorkovsky

A U.S. oil industry expert S. Wesley Haun had to prove he is a solid professional before being allowed to testify on Monday in Moscow’s Khamovniki district court hearing a case of Mihail Khodorkovsky.

Khodorkovsky, a former owner of oil major Yukos, is now serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion and faces new charges of stealing his company’s oil.

The defendant’s lawyers attached Mr Haun’s report on Yukos’ activity to the case, but the prosecution refused to accept it because they saw the report as his personal opinion and argued that it could not be used.

However, it turned out that the author, Mr Haun, was in the court room and was ready to testify personally.

At first Mr Haun had to prove that he was an expert by telling the court what degrees he had and the long list of companies he worked for and consulted, which took almost an hour.

Mr Haun the presented the conclusion of his report which said that it was impossible to reach the level of success Yukos reached if 350 million tons of oil were stolen by the defendants.

Meanwhile, Viktor Gerashchenko, former head of Russian Central Bank, testified in court today and called the charges against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev complete nonsense