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Chichvarkin lawyers appeal Russian businessman's arrest warrant

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) - Defense counsel for a former co-owner of top Russian cell phone retailer Euroset appealed on Friday against an arrest warrant issued for their client, Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who is currently in Britain.

Charges against Chichvarkin were brought as part of an earlier kidnapping case against former Euroset vice president Boris Levin and two other company officials. On Wednesday, Moscow's Basmanny Court issued an arrest warrant for Chichvarkin.

"We are asking the Moscow City Court to revoke the decision to arrest Chichvarkin in absentia as illegal and ungrounded," Vladimir Zherebenkov said.

The lawyer said the charges against his client had been brought illegally as no separate criminal case against Chichvarkin had been opened.

Chichvarkin is suspected of authorizing the 2003 abduction of Euroset's shipping agent, Andrei Vlaskin, who allegedly stole large quantities of mobile phones from the company and then sold them on through a retail outlet he had set up for the purpose.

"We also believe that the investigator's request to sanction my client's arrest in absentia was ungrounded because the investigator knew Chichvarkin would leave the country in December," Zherebenkov said.

Chichvarkin is currently in Britain with his family, and his lawyers say he currently has no plans to return to Russia.

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