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    YUKOS APPEALS ARREST OF ITS PROPERTY

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    MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's oil company, Yukos, has appealed the court ruling to arrest its property, a RIA Novosti source in the court reported on Friday.

    Yukos's property was arrested within the claim of the Ministry of Tax and Dues to charge the company 99.375 billion roubles (about $3.3 billion) to cover its debt for tax evasion in 2000.

    Moscow's Court of Arbitration banned the company from amortising and burdening its property, including its shares (with a ban imposed on transferring securities to the nominal holder and in asset management), and the share of other legal entities in the authorised capital, except the major Yukos products.

    Moscow's Meshchansky court scheduled preliminary hearings of the Khodorkovsky (former Yukos chief) case for May 28, said lawyer of the former Yukos CEO Anton Drel. Khodorkovsky is facing charges on seven articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including large-scale fraud and tax evasion.

    On the same day, May 28, the Meshchansky Court will resume hearings of the case of Platon Lebedev, chief of the Menatep international financial organisation.

    The court broke for a recess on the Lebedev case after his defence applied for the unification of the Lebedev and Khodorkovsky cases.

    "If Khodorkovsky's defence lodges a petition for the unification of these two cases, the court will most likely decide in our favour," Lebedev's lawyer Yelena Liptser said earlier.

    She recalled that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were facing identical charges.

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