MOSCOW, November 16 - RAPSI. The court has refused to satisfy a supervisory appeal in the second case of former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former Menatep head Platon Lebedev, Khodorkovsky's press center reported on Wednesday.

The YUKOS case has been Russia's most high-profile court case in recent years. In the early 2000s, when YUKOS was the country's largest oil company, the authorities charged its executives with embezzlement and tax evasion. In 2005, the court sentenced YUKOS CEO Khodorkovsky and his codefendant Lebedev to eight years in prison.

Many Western critics have said case was politically driven, but the Russian government has flatly denied this allegation.

In 2005, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced them to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time they had already served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year each. The two are now expected to be released in 2016.

Khodorkovsky is serving his sentence in Segezh in the Republic of Karelia, while Lebedev is serving his sentence in Velsk in the Arkhangelsk Region. Lebedev's parole application was rejected. Meanwhile, Khodorkovsky's parole application has yet to be heard.

The message by Khodorkovsky's press center reads that a resolution dismissing the appeals filed by Khodorkovsky and Lebedev was published on the Moscow City Court's website.

The lawyers appealed the December 27, 2010 district court decision and the May 24, 2011 Moscow City Court cassation ruling.