15:39 GMT +3 hours26 November 2014
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Khodorkovsky lawyers cleared of ethics abuse charges

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MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Bar Association concluded Friday there was no evidence to disbar three lawyers of jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's defense team for alleged ethics abuse.

Earlier this month, the Prosecutor General's Office requested that Anton Drel, Yelena Levina and Denis Dyatlev be disbarred for "breaching lawyers' ethics" by refusing to represent the former Yukos chief in an appeal hearing instead of their hospitalized colleague Genrikh Padva.

The prosecutors accused Khodorkovsky's lawyers of deliberately "dragging out" the appeal to enable their client to run for a parliamentary seat in a December by-election.

The Moscow City Court rejected the man's appeal on September 23, but reduced his prison sentence from nine to eight years.