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Russia: Prosecutors Appeal Against Court Decision On Gusinsky

Moscow, 28 December 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian General Prosecutor's office said today that it has appealed against a court decision in favor of Media-Most chairman Vladimir Gusinsky. A local Moscow court ruled earlier this week that a fraud case against Gusinsky was unfounded. The General Prosecutor's office says the court decision is illegal and has appealed to a higher judicial body, the Moscow City Court.

Itar-tass says the Moscow City Court will hear the case by January 20.

Gusinsky stands accused of embezzling more than $300 million from Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom, Media-Most's largest shareholder and creditor.

Gusinsky was arrested earlier this month in Spain on a warrant issued by Russia. He was later released after posting a bail of over $5.5 million. Russian authorities are seeking his extradition.

Gusinsky's supporters say that the case is politically motivated as Media-Most has been critical of President Vladimir Putin.