Russia is back in Europe’s top human rights court, accused by executives of the bankrupt oil company YUKOS of destroying the firm through illegal taxation.
The plaintiffs are seeking around seventy billion euros in damages, which is a record.
YUKOS turned to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights in 2004. The court has jurisdiction over 47 countries. It ruled last year that the complaint was admissible.
Former YUKOS owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving a prison sentence for fraud and tax evasion convictions.
Russia has denied any allegations of wrongdoing and has accused the court of playing politics by agreeing to hear the YUKOS case.
A lawyer for Moscow said YUKOS had illegally concealed its profits and defrauded the state.
YUKOS was hit by a series of tax audits starting in 2002. The plaintiffs say Russia violated various aspects of applicable law, including the right to a fair hearing and the right to protection of property.