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MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. Former head of the Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a potential suspect in a money-laundering investigation launched by the Irish police, The Irish Times newspaper said citing Michael McDowell, a lawyer for Ireland’s Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI).
The IT says that McDowell made his comments at a court hearing in Dublin on Tuesday. The court had been asked by the Yukos former main shareholder’s lawyers to unfreeze Yukos assets, over 100 mln euros worth. The Irish-based assets have been frozen at Ireland’s police request since 2011. The GBFI says that the funds are the subject of a current money-laundering probe.
In the meantime, Khodorkovsky’s lawyers say that the frozen funds came from "Yukos dividends and share buy-back schemes in 2002 and 2003" and that the Irish police’s position might be brought about by the Russian court’s ruling on the "Yukos case."
The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation insists that the lawyers of the former Russian oligarch should present evidence the funds had gone from Yukos legally. At the same time, an issue of filing any charges against Khodorkovsky has not been considered at the moment. The police say Ireland’s prosecutors should take a decision on the issue.