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RIA Novosti

Russia

VERDICT READING FOR KHODORKOVSKY POSTPONED

10:49 27/04/2005

MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Meshchansky court of Moscow postponed until May 16 the planned reading of the verdict for Khodorkovsky, Lebedev and Krainov. The anonymous note on the doors says: "verdict reading for Khodorkovsky, Lebedev and Krainov has been postponed until noon May 16."Assistant of the court's chairperson told on the phone that the verdict reading was indeed postponed but refused to explain the reasons. None of the court staff have spoken with the media that gathered at the doors. Lebedev's attorney Yevgeny Baru confirmed that all attorneys would come to the court by noon today, as "nobody has informed us about the postponement of the verdict reading."

Genrikh Padva, the attorney of ex-Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, thinks the court postponed the reading simply because it failed to write the verdict. But he still intends to come to the court by 12:00 local time.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-Yukos head, and Platon Lebedev, head of Menatep, are charged under seven articles each, including with tax avoidance and grand fraud.

The prosecution claims that Andrei Krainov is guilty of fraud, damage to the owner's property, and failure to comply with a court decision that had come into force.

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