MOSCOW, November 24 - RAPSI. The European Court for Human Rights will hear an appeal filed by former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky against the conviction from his first trial in 2005, Khodorkovsky's counsel Karina Moskalenko told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) on Thursday.

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 served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year. The two are now expected to be released in 2016.

Moskalenko said the European court has accepted to hear the second appeal filed by Khodorkovsky against his first prison sentence, in which he claims his right for fair justice was violated. She also noted that two years ago the Strasbourg court accepted a similar appeal filed by Khodorkovsky's former business partner Platon Lebedev.

The counsel said the first criminal case against the former oil tycoons will be reconsidered in Russia if the European court holds for their appeals.