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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yukos Lawyers Appeal Pretrial Move

Lawyers for Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner have appealed their transfer to a pretrial detention facility amid a new criminal investigation against the two men, they said Thursday.

The appeal, sent to Moscow's Basmanny Court on Wednesday, complains that investigators gave no reason as required under the law for the transfer from the prisons where Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev have been serving their sentences for fraud and tax evasion.

A statement from the lawyers said they submitted a similar appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office, also pointing out that suspects in crimes should be held in the area where the alleged offense was committed.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, who are facing possible charges of money laundering, are being detained in the Siberian city of Chita.

Khodorkovsky has accused the Kremlin of trying to extend his time in prison by opening a new criminal probe.

His lawyer, Yury Schmidt, described the authorities' actions as "open sadism" which "once again demonstrates that someone's ill-will and personal hatred lies behind the prosecution of the former Yukos managers."

Khodorkovsky had been serving his sentence in a prison in Krasnokamensk, in eastern Siberia, 5,000 kilometers east of Moscow. He and Lebedev were moved last month to a detention center in the regional capital, Chita, for questioning in the new probe.