December 14th, 2009

NEWS: Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev Defense Team Seeks Testimony

From the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev Communications Center

On October 28, 2009, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s defense counsel served a federal subpoena on former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) audit partner Douglas R. Miller, requiring the accountant to provide sworn testimony about his work in Moscow on behalf of the expropriated oil giant and the various legal proceedings initiated by the Russian authorities concerning PWC’s work for Yukos.

But on December 11, 2009, the Russian Prosecution attempted to disrupt Miller’s deposition. Its representatives filed a motion with the Khamovnichesky Court in which they asked the court to issue a decision finding Miller’s scheduled deposition inadmissible as evidence. The court found the motion did not comply with Russian law and denied it.

Miller was the lead partner on the Yukos account in Moscow for PWC, Yukos’ longtime outside auditor and consultant. At the end of 2006, the Russian authorities started a criminal investigation, which is ongoing, targeting PWC and its employees, including Miller, in connection with alleged illegal operating activities and tax evasion in Russia. As a result of increasing pressure on PWC by Russian authorities, in a manner clearly designed to undermine the reliability of the Yukos audited financial statements and to secure incriminating testimony from the management and employees of PWC against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, PWC subsequently withdrew 10 years of audits of the Yukos financial statements. Miller signed one of the letters officially withdrawing PWC’s audits.

The subpoena already has provided dividends to the defense and established the Russian Prosecution’s further violation of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev’s rights. Miller has produced documents which reveal the prosecution selectively submitted records into the case materials and intentionally withheld documents containing exculpatory evidence.

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