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New Charges Filed Against Khodorkovsky, Lebedev

Khodorkovsky lawyer Yury Shmidt visiting his client in Chita in December 2006 (ITAR-TASS) February 5, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Prosecutors have filed new charges against jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business associate, Platon Lebedev, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported.

Lawyers for both men say that prosecutors in the Siberian city of Chita have charged their clients with embezzlement and money laundering.

Khodorkovsky, the former head of the now bankrupt oil giant Yukos, and Lebedev, the head of the company's financial arm, are currently serving eight-year sentences for fraud and tax evasion.

"There are still some assets that have not yet been reached by the dirty thieving hand," Yury Schmidt, a lawyer for Khodorkovsky, told RFE/RL. "The aim of this new case against Khodorkovsky is probably to get hold of those assets and take everything -- although Khodorkovsky doesn't own anything anymore, while Yukos still owns something -- everything to the last cent."

Since bankruptcy, most of Yukos's assets have been sold off.

The company's main production arm was acquired in an auction by the state-controlled oil giant Rosneft.

(with material from Interfax)

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