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Russian Justice Ministry Freezes Main Yukos Shares

9 August 2004 -- The Russian Justice Ministry today says it has refrozen the shares of Yuganskneftegaz, Yukos's main producing unit.

A ministry statement said the decision was reached by the Moscow Arbitration Court because Yukos is failing behind on tax arrears. The court last week ruled that the freeze of Yuganskneftegaz's shares be lifted.

Also today, the Moscow Arbitration Court rejected an appeal filed by Yukos's lawyers against a Justice Ministry decision to freeze the shares of Tomskneft, another of its producing units.

Yukos' troubles started last year when its chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovskii, was arrested on charges of tax evasion and fraudulent privatization schemes.

Khodorkovskii denies any wrongdoing and says the accusations levelled against him are politically motivated.