MOSCOW ARBITRATION COURT ARRESTS ALL YUKOS PROPERTY, EXCEPT YUKOS OUTPUT

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MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Arbitration Court has arrested the property of the YUKOS oil company, having thus complied with the Tax Ministry's application filed as part of an action for levying underpaid taxes upon the company, reports the press-service of the court.

In its action brought in on April 15, the ministry demands levying upon YUKOS 99.375 billion roubles worth of taxes, penalties and fines ($1 equals 28.5 roubles).

Before judgement is passed, the court has prohibited the company from alienating by any means its property, including its stock (with a ban on the transfer of the securities to nominal holders and trustees), a partnership share in the authorized capital of other legal entities, apart from the staples produced by the company.

The court has also passed a ruling whereby the holder of Yukos securities is not to conduct operations with introducing to the register any amendments concerning equity transactions effected by the company.

A number of the company's executives are now being tried by the Prosecutor-General's Office. In particular, the former YUKOS head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is suspected of masterminding an organised criminal group which was involved in fraud and misappropriation during the privatisation of Russian enterprises. Khodorkovsky and his accomplices are charged with having inflicted $1b-worth damage to the country.

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