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28 Aug, 2007 01:57

Russia's Prosecutor General blasts Switzerland in Yukos case

Russia's Prosecutor General , Yury Chaika, has criticised the Swiss High Court refusing to help the Russian investigation into the Yukos case, calling the decision politically motivated.

“The investigation of the Yukos case has been completed. Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev are charged with embezzling more than 890 billion roubles. Neither denies their guilt, but have attempted  to slow down the case by requesting new defence attorneys who are known to protect the interests of oligarchs. Regarding our request to the Swiss High Court to assist us in the investigation of the case, which the  court has denied, we consider it to be based on political motives alone. It shows disrespect to our country and their colleagues,” said Mr Chaika.

Yukos was declared bankrupt on August 1, 2006 and the assets of the oil company have since been sold off.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the oil giant, and one of Yukos's top managers, Platon Lebedev, are being detained in Chita awaiting trial.

The Prosecutor General's office is currently awaiting a decision on the extradition of another top manager, Leonid Nevzlin, who acquired Israeli citizenship in 2003.