Participant in Yukos case expertise says it was purely non-profit and voluntary

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) Mikhail Subbotin, a participant in the public expertise of the second Yukos case and senior scholar from the Institute of Economics and International Relations, who is expected at the Investigative Committee on Wednesday, has drawn a parallel between the current case of experts and “doctors’ plot” at the end of the Stalin era.

“It this case it is difficult for me to understand at all why all this continues because from my point of view this is a shame for the nation. I can say so also because it is 60 years since the so-called doctors’ plot in 2013. The comparison suggests itself, and it is so shameful that it absolutely not clear who needs all this,” Subbotin said to Interfax.

He said investigators tend to link the money Subbotin receives as the director of SRP-Expertiza consultancy with the funding of the public expertise of the Yukos case which was conducted voluntarily and free of charge.

“The expert study was conducted on a volunteer basis. Clearly all people receive some salaries, some fees in some places, but attempts to link all this with the expert study have nothing to do with reality,” Subbotin said.

He was surprised “why in general the Investigative Committee is dealing with the public expertise that is not regulated by any criminal law.”

“It was conducted after the court brought its judgment and was of purely scientific nature. Experts are not appointed by court or any special institution, they are invited by a public organization, in this case by the Presidential Council for Human Rights,” Subbotin said.

“An expert does not give a written pledge of being warned about criminal liability for issuing a false opinion or refusing to offer an opinion. Here only his personal opinion is important which under our constitution cannot be judged under either civil or criminal law,” he said.

He noted that investigators have shown interest in the experts, authors of the expertise of the second Yukos case for several months. However, the moves of the investigation sparked off strong public response after former rector of the Russian School of Economics Sergei Guriyev who had taken part in it left Russia for fear of persecution by law enforcers.

Last Monday former judge of the Constitutional Court and member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights Tamara Morshchakova announced that investigators wanted to see her this week too.

“They did not say anything concrete, but the reason is clear to me even without it,” she said to Interfax on Monday. She said investors will most likely want to speak of the expert study of the second criminal case of Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev.