Court to hear appeal against Yukos CEO appointment June 6

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MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow's Court of Arbitration said Monday it would hear an appeal tomorrow by a Yukos shareholder against the June 2004 appointment of U.S. national Steven Theede as the Russian oil company's chief executive.

Shareholder Valeri Barmin filed the appeal in April this year, arguing that it was unlawful to put a foreign national in charge of a domestic company.

Barmin also requested that the Federal Migration Service and the Federal Security Service check whether the appointment had been made with due respect for all procedural formalities.

Yukos lawyers maintain the current chief executive was appointed in full compliance with the corporate charter.

Theede, 54, joined the Russian company in 2003 as executive director and president of a Yukos-Moscow subsidiary. The following year, he took over as Yukos CEO from Simon Kukes, a Russian-born U.S. citizen.

Yukos founder and former chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been serving an eight-year prison sentence since a May 2005 conviction on fraud and tax evasion charges.

Following the arrest of Khodorkovsky in October 2003, authorities ordered the sale of some of the company's prize assets to settle its massive tax bills.

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