PARIS, September 13 - RAPSI. The European Court of Human Rights may hear the lawsuit filed by YUKOS against Russia for over $98 billion for another 1.5 years if the parties appeal its September 20 judgment, the court told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

The judgment expected to be issued on September 20 will come into force within three months unless the parties appeal it during this period.

The European court's ruling will be considered final if the court dismisses the appeal. Meanwhile, if the appeal is accepted, it will be submitted to the European Court's Grand Chamber, which enjoys as much time as is needed to make a decision. It may take the Grand Chamber up to 12-18 months to issue a judgment after the public hearings, the court said.

YUKOS filed an appeal with the European court in 2004 against the Russian tax authorities for illegally confiscating its assets and for auctioning a 76.79 percent stake in Yuganskneftegaz.

The European court accepted the appeal in late January 2009 and held public hearings in March 2010.

A YUKOS lawyer claimed that the Russian authorities illegally charged the company 19.6 billion euro in extra taxes and penalties from 2000 until 2003.
Meanwhile, the Russian authorities argue that YUKOS dodged the tax laws during the same period and Russias sale of Yuganskneftegaz was in strict compliance with the law.