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Accounting Firm Withdraws Yukos Audit Reports

PricewaterhousCoopers's Moscow office (ITAR-TASS) June 25, 2007 -- The international accounting company PricewaterhouseCoopers has withdrawn nine years of audit reports for Yukos, saying some of the information provided by the bankrupt Russian oil company's former management may have been inaccurate.

In a statement posted on its website, the company said the reports, from 1995-2004, "should no longer be relied on or associated with Yukos's financial statements."

The accounting company said the withdrawal was due to "new information" that would have affected the reports.

"PwC now believes information and representations which was provided to PwC by Yukos's former management may not have been accurate," the statement said.

Yuri Schmidt, a lawyer for imprisoned former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, today called PwC's move an "attempt to please the authorities."

Fallen Giant

Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil producer, was hit in 2004 with back-tax claims of billions of dollars.

Since then the company has become bankrupt, its former CEO Khodorkovsky has been jailed for fraud and tax evasion, and its key assets have been sold to mainly state-owned companies.

The case was widely seen as a Kremlin attempt to quash Khodorkovsky's political ambitions.

Russian tax authorities in December alleged that PwC knowingly issued false reports and covered up wrongdoing at Yukos, a charge the auditor denies.

(AFP, Interfax,

Democracy In Russia

Democracy In Russia

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