(AP) - A Kiev court seized control Tuesday of a major metal plant owned by the son-in-law of Ukraine's former president, the latest skirmish in President Viktor Yushchenko's campaign to review dozens of suspect privatizations.

In a statement, the Kiev Court of Appeals said it had taken control of 50 percent plus one share of the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant, owned by Viktor Pinchuk. The court also banned shareholders, including Pinchuk, from performing any activity involving the shares.

The plant, which is a key asset for Pinchuk's Interpipe manufacturer, was acquired in 2003 at prices whose legality have been questioned by prosecutors. The factory is a major producer of ferroalloys and serves at least 15 of the world's largest steel producers.

Pinchuk's lawyers and government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, a court in Nikopol banned the federal State Property Fund from participating in any activities related to the company's shares, the Unian news agency reported.

Last month, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko warned Russian metals and oil tycoon Viktor Vekselberg not to buy Pinchuk's shares in the Nikopol factory. Tymoshenko said the plant's privatization was in the process of being rolled back.

Yushchenko has pledged to review dozens of enterprises suspected of being privatized under shady circumstances during the 10-year tenure of his predecessor, Leonid Kuchma. Much of Kuchma's term was marred by corruption, nepotism and alleged government links with organized crime.


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