Yukos takes on its former main production unit and wins

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MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Arbitration Court granted a petition Monday filed by embattled oil company Yukos to increase recoverable losses from the sale of Yuganskneftegaz, formerly the company's main production unit, from 324.298 billion rubles ($11.35 billion, or 9.32 billion euros) to 398.792 billion rubles ($13.96 billion, or 11.46 billion euros).

The court decided the case was not fully ready to be heard and postponed the hearing until August 30.

The court also ordered Yukos to translate into Russian English documents specifying the sums of its claims.

The Russian Federal Property Fund, some Russian companies and the Finance Ministry are defendants in the case.

The Federal Anti-Trust Service, Yuganskneftegaz and the Moscow main departments of the Justice Ministry and the Federal Bailiff Service are acting as third parties in the hearings.

The Yukos defense team said in its claim that the auction was held with numerous violations of Russian and international law, including the Convention on the Protection of Individuals' Rights and Freedoms.

Yukos also said the Russian Federal Property Fund illegitimately understated the initial share package price and breached the procedure of announcing and holding the bidding.

The Bailiff Service passed its decision on auctioning off Yuganskneftegaz shares to pay for tax arrears on November 18, 2004.

Yukos' debts to the budget exceeded $20 billion. In December of last year, the Russian Federal Property Fund sold the shares for $9.35 billion to the unknown Baikal Finance Group, which was subsequently bought by Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft.

According to the Russian Justice Ministry, Yukos owed more than $2 billion in back taxes as of June 29, 2004.

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