YUKOS AFFAIR: SAMARA STOCK ARREST LAWFUL, SAYS COURT VERDICT

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MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Arbitration Court turned down a Yukos suit to confirm the legality of a bailiff move on which a Yukos block of Samaraneftegaz shares was arrested, our correspondent reports from the courtroom.

The block was arrested, July 14, after the Board of Appeal of the Moscow Arbitration Court confirmed a verdict for Yukos to pay 99.342 billion rubles, roughly $3.4 billion, as back taxes for 2000.

The entire stock of Yuganskneftegaz, Samaraneftegaz and Tomskneft-Yukos oil-extracting affiliates-came under arrest then.

Yukos lawyers doubted arrest legality, and so appealed to the Arbitration Court. Yuganskneftegaz arrest was found illegal in the hearings of August 6, but the verdict was invalidated, August 18, following an appeal. The Yugansk company is the biggest Yukos industrial branch.

The Tomsk stock stays under arrest after the court dismissed a Yukos appeal against it, August 9.

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