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The Moscow City Court today confirmed the legality of holding Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in custody
The court rejected an appeal by lawyers of the former Yukos chief and the head of Menatep, to change their clients' measure of restraint and upheld a Moscow regional court's earlier rulings from June 8 and 16. Mr. Khodorkovsky and Mr. Lebedev are charged with 11 crimes. The prosecutor general's office charged Mr. Khodorkovsky with three counts of large-scale fraud, two counts of malicious non-compliance with a court order, two counts of embezzlement or appropriation of others' property, one count of document-forging, one count of material losses through deception, one count tax evasion by a legal entity, and one count of tax evasion by a private individual. According to the prosecutor, Mr. Khodorkovsky, who chaired the Menatep board, and Mr. Lebedev, the bank's president, illegally seized 20% of Apatit shares, which were worth more than $283 million, in the summer of 1994. According to investigators, Mr. Khodorkovsky's organized group accumulated funds in foreign company accounts at foreign banks and in accounts of subsidiary Russian companies including, DIB and Menatep St. Petersburg. "Khodorkovsky, who controlled this organized group," said the indictment, "kept track of the funds received through embezzlement, including through tax evasion, during the sale of Apatit, as well as funds from crude oil and petroleum." Mr. Khodorkovsky, Mr. Lebedev and other unidentified individuals operated in Moscow from July 5, 1999 to April 28, 2000 and transferred funds from Mr. Khodorkovsky's corporate accounts (including Yukos accounts) to companies being controlled by former media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky. Mr. Gusinsky is wanted by Russian authorities and is now living abroad. According to the indictment, Mr. Khodorkovsky illegally and gratuitously appropriated more than 2.6 billion rubles and used the funds to Mr. Gusinsky's advantage and thereby inflicting losses on their owners. Mr. Khodorkovsky and Mr. Lebedev are each charged according to seven articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including large-scale fraud and tax evasion
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