MOSCOW, November 23 - RAPSI. Former oil tycoon Platon Lebedev, who was sentenced to a long prison term for oil theft and money laundering along with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has challenged a parole procedure with the Constitutional Court, Lebedev's defense counsel told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) on Wednesday.

In his complaint, published on the web site of Khodorkovsky press center, Lebedev said that according to the Criminal Correctional Code the convict may be granted a parole if he repented his crime and repaid the damage partially or in full.

Meanwhile, Lebedev said the courts denied him parole on the grounds that he had not repented or repaid financial damages. He added that the judges are interpreting the law incorrectly as the code says nothing about denying a prisoner's parole if he has not repented or repaid damages.

In late 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 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.