Sources in the department of information and public relations of the RF Prosecutor-General's office told RIA Novosti that Anton Drel, Khodorkovski's lawyer, was not longer required to visit the Prosecutor-General's office today.
"During a telephone conversation with Anton Drel, investigators from prosecutor-general's office clarified that he was asked to appear in the office in connection with a criminal case against Vasily Shakhnovski, who has been charged with tax evasion. Mr. Shakhnovski failed to report a taxable amount of 29 million rubles (about 1 million dollars), the statement of the prosecutor-genera's office says. "Mr. Drel confirmed that he, indeed, consulted Mr. Shakhnovski on tax issues. The lawyer has been offered an opportunity to present necessary information in written form, and he has agreed to do so." On Monday, Anton Drel, lawyer of arrested Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovski, was asked to appear in the RF prosecutor-general's office for interrogation.
It was reported earlier that investigators intended to interrogate the lawyer in connection with a criminal case against several Yukos-controlled companies charged with fraud and tax evasion.
Mr. Drel announced his intention to bring the issue of his visit to prosecutor-general's office for review of Moscow's Bar Association (he is a member of this association).
Earlier, prosecutor-general's office had already sent Mr. Drel a request for interrogation summons as a witness for a criminal case. However, the Moscow's Bar Association prohibited him from appearing before investigators, siting the RF Criminal Code and the law "On lawyers' activities and bar associations in the Russian Federation," which both ban interrogation of lawyers in relation to cases they defend.
"The Bar Association has categorically said "No" in relation to the lawyer's summons to appear in the prosecutor-general's office," stated chairman of the Moscow's Bar Association Henry Reznik in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Anton Drel earlier told RIA Novosti that in case of his refusal to appear, prosecutor-general's office could force him to do so and later apprehend him.