DATE=6/16/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / TYCOON ARREST (L UPDATE) NUMBER=2-263556 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russian authorities have released jailed media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky, whose arrest earlier this week has provoked a storm of criticism. Earlier in the day Russian officials formally leveled charges of embezzlement against Mr. Gusinsky, whose news outlets have been critical of the new Kremlin leadership. Correspondent Eve Conant has this report from Moscow. TEXT: Genry Reznik, Defense lawyer for Vladimir Gusinsky told reporters, that the essence of the charge against Mr. Gusinsky is that his `Media Most' company was created with the criminal goal of inflicting damage on the state and stealing an unspecified amount of money. Russian prosecutors say Mr. Gusinsky is thought to be involved in the theft of at least ten million dollars of state funds during a privatization deal in the mid- nineteen nineties. However, defense lawyer Mr. Reznik said he characterized the charges and the treatment of his client as "full-scale political repression" from the Russian authorities. ///Second Act Reznik in Russian in full and fade under/// Mr. Reznik says, "They will pressure, destroy and jail all whom they consider to be their opponents." He adds, "people need to forget their illusions, we need to stop the forces that are trying to suppress society." /// opt /// Mr. Reznik says that prosecutors did not examine Mr. Gusinsky's eligibility for release from jail under an amnesty for recipients of Soviet-era state medals. /// end opt /// Mr. Gusinsky's arrest on Tuesday has sparked a wave of international concern over freedom of press in Russia. The businessman is head of a media empire that controls the nation's only independent television network, N-T-V, as well as the Ekho Moscow radio station and liberal newspapers. State-run television networks tend to air only positive coverage of newly- elected President Vladimir Putin, whereas Mr. Gusinsky's media outlets have been outspoken in their criticism of the government's military campaign in Chechnya and alleged Kremlin corruption. ///OPT/// Igor Malashenko, vice-Chairman of Media-Most says the arrest was designed to intimidate Russian journalists. ///Act Malashenko in Russian in full and fade under/// Mr. Malashenko says, "I returned to Moscow to ensure the normal work of Media Most and it's mass media outlets. The organizers of Mr. Gusinsky's arrest have failed to frighten us or keep us from doing our normal work." ///END OPT/// Journalists who work for Media Most told a news conference they wished to meet with former Russian President Boris Yeltsin who had promised that his successor, Vladimir Putin, would honor press freedom and democratic reforms. President Putin has said the media tycoon should not have been jailed, but that he had no control over the legal process. (Signed) NEB/EC/GE/ENE/KBK 16-Jun-2000 14:35 PM LOC (16-Jun-2000 1835 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .