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Moscow Court Upholds Yukos Asset Freeze

What will be Khodorkovskii's legacy at Yukos? (file photo) 2 July 2004 -- The Moscow Arbitration Court today upheld a decision to freeze the assets of Russian oil giant Yukos as the Tax Ministry demanded that the company pay $6.8 billion in back taxes.

Yukos's shares have fallen sharply since company representatives said the decision could drive them into bankruptcy.

The Russian Tax Ministry had initially demanded that Yukos pay $3.4 billion in back taxes for the year 2000. That bill has now been doubled to include taxes owed from the year 2001.

Yukos's founder and former chairman, Mikhail Khodorkovskii, is now in jail and could face a 10-year sentence if convicted on fraud and tax-evasion charges.