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  -   NEWS
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
'Ex-Arsenal Kiev owners charged'

KIEV, March 20 (Reuters) - Ukrainian prosecutors have charged the former owners of Arsenal Kiev with fraud and money laundering stemming from transfer deals, the premier division club said on Wednesday.

Local media reported that Kiev chief prosecutor Yuri Haisinsky had filed charges against Arsenal's former owners, the Defence Ministry's army club CSKA, and their business partners, oil company Naftogas Ukrainy.

The club confirmed the charges, but said they did not apply to new management, which is no longer linked to the army and changed the team's name from CSKA to Arsenal.

'Yes, indeed, the city's prosecution office have filed charges against football club CSKA in regard to players' contracts,' a spokesman for the club, Anatoly Lynik said on Wednesday.

'But these charges only relate to business activity of CSKA and not the present club Arsenal. As far as our club is concerned, all our documentation is in order with the law.'

Local media reported that the prosecutor had accused Arsenal's former military bosses of illegally transferring players abroad, pocketing some $4 million from those deals and laundering money with the oil company's help.

Lynik said the Defence Ministry was preparing a statement in response to the charges. The oil company could not be reached for comment.

Ukraine international Eduard Tsykhmeistruk moved on a free transfer from CSKA to Russian champions Spartak Moscow last year in a move the Ukrainians tried to block until they received money in return.

The case went to world governing body FIFA's arbitration commission which allowed Tsykhmeistruk to play for Spartak.

 

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