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    KHODORKOVSKY'S LAWYERS TO FINISH STUDYING THE CASE THURSDAY

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    MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - The lawyers of Mikhail Khodorkovsky plan to finish studying the case on Thursday. One of them, Genrikh Padva, said they might sign the protocol to this effect today, which means that within the next five days the prosecution must approve the indictment and send the case to court.

    Khodorkovsky was detained on October 25, 2003 in Tolmachevo airport of Novosibirsk and delivered to Moscow on that same day, where the Basmanny Court approved his arrest. The prosecution charged Khodorkovsky under seven articles of the Criminal Code of Russia, including major fraudulent embezzlement as a member of an organised group, gross neglect for a court decision, and major tax evasion.

    Khodorkovsky, who was in 1994 board chairman of the Menatep commercial bank, bank president Platon Lebedev and several other persons are also charged with misappropriation of 20% of the Apatit stake worth more than $283 mln. Besides, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, the main shareholders of Yukos and actual leaders of the company in 1999-2000, are charged with tax evasion and misappropriation of budgetary funds through fraud. The prosecution says damage from their actions amounts to over $1 bln.

    Khodorkovsky is also charged with avoiding personal income tax and insurance payments to the Pension Fund to the tune of 53 mln roubles ($1.7 mln) in 1998-1999. He does not recognise the charges; he retired from the post of Yukos CEO on November 3.

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