Lawyer of Ex-Yukos Boss Slams Berlin | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 11.04.2005
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Lawyer of Ex-Yukos Boss Slams Berlin

A lawyer for former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky accused German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of being
"complicit" in the Kremlin's bid to smash the Russian energy giant, in an interview published Monday. Robert Amsterdam told the daily Berliner Zeitung that the German government had backed two German banks -- Deutsche Bank and
Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DKW) -- in helping Moscow dismantle Yukos. Khodorkovsky is on trial on tax evasion and embezzlement charges in a high-profile case his defenders say is politically motivated. "The German chancellor acted as a Kremlin accomplice in a case of theft committed by the Russian leadership," Amsterdam said, according to comments printed in German. "That is a crime and I plan to spend a lot of time uncovering the German government's involvement." Amsterdam accused Schröder, who was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the northern German city of Hanover Monday, of acting out of "pure opportunism" in supporting the Kremlin in the Yukos case to gain "commercial advantage from an illegal deal." Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, and DKW were part of a consortium of banks that had intended to put up funding for Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom to buy Yuganskneftegaz, which produces 60 percent of Yukoss oil, at an auction in December. Meanwhile a business partner of Khodorkovsky, Leonid Newslin, attacked Schroeder in a separate interview with German news weekly Focus. "The people of Germany, as opposed to (Schröder), understand what is happening in Russia," he said. "There is no free justice in Russia. Putin makes all the decisions. "With the amount of lawlessness and energy that Putin is using, Yukos will be effectively bankrupt by this summer."

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