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Yukos Bankruptcy Supervisor Says US Court Prevents Sale of Assets

A bankruptcy supervisor overseeing Russian oil giant Yukos says a court in the United States has temporarily banned the company from selling its assets.

Eduard Rebgun Friday said a New York court has granted a 10-day injunction that prevents the company's management from conducting sales transactions as the company heads into bankruptcy hearings.

Rebgun said he filed the legal request Thursday to prevent Yukos management from selling the company's stake in a Lithuanian oil refinery.

Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, is facing bankruptcy and liquidation following huge Russian government back tax claims.

A Moscow court last month ordered bankruptcy officials to oversee Yukos assets pending a June 27 court hearing. Several Western banks had asked the court to declare Yukos bankrupt, saying it defaulted on more than $480 million in debt.

The conglomerate's former head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison term following conviction on tax evasion and fraud charges. His supporters say the Kremlin is punishing Khodorkovsky for his support of the political opposition, a charge Russian officials deny.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.