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Strasbourg Court Rules Russia Violated Tycoon's Rights

19 May 2004 -- The European Court of Human Rights ruled today that Russian authorities violated the rights of media tycoon Vladimir Gusinskii by detaining him in 2000 to pressure him into selling his television network.

The Strasbourg-based court found unanimously that Gusinskii's right to liberty and security had been violated and judges awarded him 88,000 euros ($105,685) in costs and expenses.

Gusinskii was arrested in July 2000 on suspicion of fraud after Russia accused him of misrepresenting the assets of his company Media-MOST to obtain a loan from the state-owned gas company Gazprom.

The court ruled that while Russian authorities may have had reasonable suspicions about Gusinskii, the procedure used to arrest him before being charged was not "sufficiently accessible and precise in order to avoid all risk of arbitrariness."

Gusinskii, who has a Russian and Israeli passport, currently lives in Spain. Russia has repeatedly tried, unsuccessfully, to seek his extradition.