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The Washington Times
Washington DC, November 2, 2003
Arrested oil tycoon passed shares to banker
LONDON (Agence France-Presse) -- Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to renowned banker [the Rt Hon Lord] Jacob Rothschild, under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky's arrest, the Sunday Times reported.
NEWS IN BRIEF -- probably not in your own national newspaper - Leonid Nevzlin, biggest Yukos shareholder not yet in jail, has been granted Israeli citizenship, raising eyebrows even in Jerusalem over the haste in which it was done. [source] Fact: Nevzlin resigned from Yukos to head the Russian Jewish Congress. [biography]
Mr. Khodorkovsky, 40, whom Russian authorities arrested at gunpoint and jailed pending further investigation last week, was said by the Sunday Times to have made the arrangement with Mr. Rothschild when he realized he was facing arrest.
Mr. Rothschild (left) now controls the voting rights on a stake in Yukos worth almost $13.5 billion, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Moscow.
Mr. Khodorkovsky owns 4 percent of Yukos directly and 22 percent through a trust of which he is the sole beneficiary, according to Russian analysts.
From the figures reported in the Sunday Times, it appeared Mr. Rothschild had received control of all Mr. Khodorkovsky's shares.
The two have known each other for years "through their mutual love of the arts" and their positions as directors of the Open Russia Foundation, Yukos' philanthropic branch, it said.
Russian authorities Thursday froze billions of dollars of shares held by Mr. Khodorkovsky and his top lieutenants in Yukos -- throwing control of the country's largest oil company into limbo and causing frenzied selling on financial markets.
Russian prosecutors said owners of the shares are still entitled to dividends and retain voting rights, but can no longer sell their stakes.
They said the freeze was necessary as collateral for the $1 billion that Mr. Khodorkovsky and his associates are accused of misappropriating during the 1990s.
Mr. Rothschild is the British head of Europe's wealthy and influential Rothschild family, and runs his own investment empire.
Radio Islam comments:
Mikhail Khodorkovsky had a "previously unknown arrangement" with Jacob Rothschild for the latter to take control of the former's Yukos stock in the event that the former could no longer "act as a beneficiary" of the shares. The two are said to have known one another "through their mutual love of the arts". The exact nature of these "arts" isn't specified, the old art of Zionist-Jewish frauds, maybe?