"In its letter [to the Justice Ministry] the Prosecutor-General's Office cites concrete facts, essentially, of obstruction of justice [by Khodorkovskii's lawyers]. The law forbids lawyers from refusing to carrying out their direct responsibilities."
She said the Prosecutor-General's demand excludes Padva. Earlier, authorities annulled the visa of Canadian national Robert Amsterdam -- another of Khodorkovskii's lawyers -- and ordered him to leave the country within 24 hours.
Khodorkovskii will officially start serving his prison sentence within 10 days. A Moscow appeals court yesterday upheld Khodorkovskii's fraud conviction but shortened his nine-year jail sentence to eight years.
(RFE/RL's Russian Service, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, AFP, Reuters)