Analysts speculate on court decision to release YUKOS stockholder

The verdict that was brought in for former head of the YUKOS Moscow division Vasily Shakhnovsky earlier today is not representative for the YUKOS affair as a whole, Sergey Suverov, an analyst with the Zenit bank, told RBC. The analyst specified that charges against Shakhnovsky had differed from those against Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky (the key stockholders in YUKOS) from the very beginning, and had been mainly related to tax evasion. Moreover, Shakhnovsky gave his recognizance not to leave, and was never imprisoned. Finally, it should be also born in mind that before buying a stake in YUKOS Shakhnovsky used to work at the Moscow Mayor's Office and had more connections with political elite than anyone else among YUKOS stockholders. According to the expert, this could also affect the court decision.

Earlier today, a Moscow district court sentenced Shakhnovsky to one-year imprisonment and then released him "due to changes in the situation".

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