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    CONTROVERSIAL TYCOON'S LAWYERS HAVE BANK ACCOUNTS ARRESTED

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 1, (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Basmanny district court of Moscow sanctioned the arrest of bank accounts of Vassili Alexanyan and Anton Drel, both legal advisers of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, announced Heinrich Padva, another of the controversial tycoon's lawyers.

    He came down on the court decision as an unlawful attempt to libel the defence.

    "As investigators are saying, they have every reason to suspect a part of allegedly embezzled sums transferred to a Swiss bank. They have drawn a list of involved companies and private persons. Alexanyan and Drel are on that black list," added Mr. Padva.

    The Basmanny court authorised, March 12, the arrest of Swiss bank accounts of twenty persons involved in the Yukos petroleum mammoth affair. As far as the federal Prosecutor General's experts know, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former Yukos president; Platon Lebedev, president of the transnational financial amalgamation Menatep; Leonid Nevzlin, former Russian State Humanitarian Institute Rector, and other suspects on the case possess a total exceeding 6.2 billion Swiss francs-roughly five billion US dollars-deposited in five Swiss-based banks.

    "These are not assets, stock or any other securities but mere private deposits of persons involved, to varying extents, in a huge embezzlement of government money," say the top prosecutor's men.

    Mikhail Khodorkovsky, presently in custody, is suspected of big swindles, tax evasion and certain other financial crimes. He has pleaded innocent on every point.

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