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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Basmanny Court Puts Freeze on Khodorkovsky's House

Moscow's Basmanny District Court has put a freeze on the family home of jailed businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky as part of a continuing investigation into tax evasion at Yukos.

Khodorkovsky's wife, Inna, said the court had put a freeze on an estate in the Yablonevy Sad neighborhood outside Moscow where she and their three school-age children have been living while her husband serves an eight-year sentence on fraud and tax evasion charges in a Chita prison.

"Now they are going after the wives and children," Inna Khodorkovsky said Sunday on the Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

"The complex where we are living at the moment was impounded in May. … I don't know when they are going to start carrying out their plans [to confiscate it]. I'm now thinking about where, probably, to rent a place to live."

Court papers posted on Mikhail Khodorkovsky's web site, www.khodorkovsky.ru, showed that Moscow's Basmanny court on May 2 ordered the impounding of land and houses owned by a Yukos affiliate in the suburb of Zhukovka. The order was part of the tax evasion trial of Irina Golub, former head of a Yukos subsidiary.

Interfax, however, cited a spokesman for the prosecutor's office as denying that the freeze meant the family would be forced out. "All that the seizure means is a ban on any deal with real estate, including its sale or its use as security," the official was quoted as saying.

Yukos creditors, including the state, voted last week for the company to be declared bankrupt. The Moscow Arbitration Court is to decide Tuesday on whether to declare Yukos bankrupt.

Since Khodorkovsky's conviction last year, courts have also frozen the assets of his Open Russia charity and a boarding school for disadvantaged children. He is patron of the school, and his parents help run it.

(Reuters, AP)