Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Moscow City Court legalizes arrest of Khodorkovsky lawyers' accounts

The Moscow City Court has confirmed that the arrest of the Swiss bank accounts of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky's lawyers, Vasily Aleksanyan and Anton Drel, was legal.

Anton Drel has told RIA Novosti that the Moscow City Court denied the cassation of Khodorkovsky's lawyers against the March 19 ruling of the Basmanny Court of Moscow to authorize the arrest of the Swiss bank accounts.

Previously, Khodorkovsky's lawyer, Genrikh Padva, quoted the prosecutors as saying that there was evidence that part of the embezzled money might be in a Swiss bank. The names of Aleksanyan and Drel featured among the companies, legal entities and individuals.

In March, Moscow's Basmanny Court authorized the arrest of Swiss bank accounts of twenty people featuring in the Yukos case. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Menatep head Platon Lebedev, former head of the Russian State Humanitarian University Leonid Nevzlin and other people in the case have over 6.2 billion Swiss francs (about $5 billion) in five Swiss banks.

"At issue are not assets, shares or other securities, but private monetary deposits of individuals who are involved in large-scale embezzlement," the prosecutors noted.

Khodorkovsky, now in custody, is accused on several points of indictment according to the Russian Criminal Code, including large-scale embezzlement and tax evasion. Khodorkovsky is pleading not guilty.