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An East Siberian court on Wednesday suspended
An East Siberian court on Wednesday suspended for a day its hearing of an appeal filed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky's lawyers over a lower court decision to deny their client parole.

The Chita City Court hearing was delayed due to a lack of coordination between the former Yukos owner and his defense. It will consider the appeal against the Ingodinsk District Court's ruling to deny Khodorkovsky parole at 2:00 p.m. local time (04:00 GMT) Thursday.

The Chita court on October 8 extended Khodorkovsky's custody until February 9, 2009, as part of a new investigation into laundering money totaling $28.3 billion and stealing oil between 1998 and 2004.

Last Wednesday, Khodorkovsky was also placed in solitary confinement for 12 days after giving an interview to Esquire magazine, a week before his appeal hearing.

Members of a committee of Khodorkovsky's supporters who went on a hunger strike over the move last Friday have ended their protest at the prisoner's request, deputy chairwoman Marina Savateyeva said Wednesday.

Khodorkovsky has consistently maintained his innocence, saying he has been punished for supporting the country's pro-Western opposition, and that the subsequent liquidation of Yukos was engineered by corrupt government officials aiming to seize lucrative oil assets.

The former oligarch and his business partner Platon Lebedev are serving eight-year prison terms for fraud and tax evasion.

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