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A Chita district court in East Siberia rejected on Tuesday
A Chita district court in East Siberia rejected on Tuesday an appeal by lawyers of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev against investigators.

"The appeal has been dismissed. The court's decision can be appealed within 10 days," the judge in the Ingodinsk District Court said.

The lawyers had protested that the defense was being given fewer rights than prosecutors in collecting evidence. Khodorkovsky also contested that stealing of 350 million tons of oil, a charge brought against him, was impossible in terms of Russia's oil exports at the time.

In addition, the Yukos founder accused investigators of refusing to take testimony that could lead to his and Lebedev's acquittals.

Both Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are serving eight-year jail terms for fraud and tax evasion. In early July, Russian prosecutors brought new charges against them of laundering $28.3 billion and stealing oil between 1998 and 2004.


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