MOSCOW, September 17 (RAPSI) - Defense lawyers for former YUKOS top manager Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev have appealed Russia's Supreme Courts decision to lower the sentences of their clients to 10 years and 10 months, the website of Khodorkovsky's press office said on Tuesday.

The lawyers have asked to withdraw Khodorkovsky and Lebedev from the criminal prosecution and release them immediately from custody.

In 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time that they had already served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005, when they were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. However, on May 24, 2011, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year.

Then last year, the Moscow City Court reduced the sentence again from 13 to 11 years.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have asked the Supreme Court to overturn all previous court decisions as illegal and unjustified, and to grant their immediate release.

The defense team filed for a supervisory appeal in February 2012.

On August 6, the Supreme Court held that the sentences of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev should be lowered, thus partially satisfying their requests on supervisory appeal.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg earlier held that the charges filed against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were brought in accordance with the law, but that their rights had been violated in connection with the court proceedings and their placement in remote Siberian penal colonies.