[JURIST] The bankruptcy administrator for the embattled Russian oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] announced Thursday that the company no longer legally exists. The Moscow Arbitration Court completed Yukos' liquidation this month and removed it as a legal entity Wednesday. Once Russia's largest oil company, Yukos was forced to declare bankruptcy [JURIST report] in August 2006 when it could not pay claimed back taxes. Yukos' remaining assets have been acquired by state-run Rosneft [corporate website], currently Russia's largest oil producer.
Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive] was convicted of tax evasion [JURIST report] in 2005 and is currently imprisoned in Siberia; he has two appeals pending before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights. Russian prosecutors indicted Khordorkovsky on new money laundering charges [JURIST report] in early 2007. Khodorkovsky, an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has always insisted that the charges against him have been politically motivated, although Russian prosecutors say otherwise [JURIST report]. RIA Novosti has more.