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Moscow Court Seeks Arrest Of Exiled Yukos Shareholder

26 July 2004 -- A Moscow court today issued an arrest warrant for a large shareholder in the beleaguered Russian oil company Yukos on charges of involvement in murder and attempted murder.

Russian news agencies say the warrant was issued against Leonid Nevzlin, who lives in self-imposed exile in Israel.

The warrant adds to the already complicated array of legal actions swirling around Russia's largest oil producer. The firm faces an overdue back-taxes bill of several thousands of millions of dollars and says it may be driven into bankruptcy. Its former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovskii is on trial on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

Nevzlin, reportedly worth $2 billion, is charged in connection with the 2002 murder of a husband and wife and with ordering the attempted killings of several other people.

Nevzlin was granted Israeli citizenship last year, but Israeli authorities said at the time that would not automatically shield him from extradition to Russia.