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Russian Companies With Ties To Yukos Under Scrutiny --> 6 October 2005 -- Russian prosecutors today searched more financial companies linked to jailed oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovskii's former oil company, Yukos.

Sergei Meshcheryakov, head of the Interior Ministry's economic security department, told reporters that the probe involves both Russian and foreign firms, as well as companies not directly linked to Yukos.

"[It involves] a number of firms and structures, not only those linked to Yukos but also others, which are suspected, on solid grounds, of legitimizing money that was acquired illegally, and not only on Russian territory," Meshcheryakov said.

The offices probed today in Moscow include Open Russia, a foundation ran by Khodorkovskii.

Open Russia said today that prosecutors also questioned the directors of its regional branches.

The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office yesterday said it suspected Yukos managers and employees of diverting $7 billion from oil sales between 2000 and 2003 and transferring the money to front companies overseas.

Khodorkovskii is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence on tax evasion and fraud charges he says are politically motivated.

(RIA-Novosti/Gazeta/Interfax/Ekho Moskvy)

See also:

RFE/RL Speaks With Expelled Khodorkovskii Lawyer

Khodorkovskii Appeal Rejected, Duma Hopes Dashed