MOSCOW, June 9 - RAPSI. The counsel for former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes that Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev should prepare a response to his appeal against his sentence even before he receives the formal letter, says attorney Vadim Kluvgant in his statement on Khodorkovsky’s press center website.

The court has yet to register Khodorkovsky’s appeal against the Khamovnichesky District Court’s 14-year custodial sentence on him and his business partner Platon Lebedev on charges of a 200 million tonne oil theft and money laundering. On May 24, 2011, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year.

The YUKOS case has been one of the most high profile in Russia in recent years. In the early 2000s, when YUKOS was the country's largest oil company, its executives were charged with economic crimes. YUKOS later went bankrupt and its assets were transferred to Rosneft. Many in the West believe the case was politically motivated, though Moscow denies these allegations.

In late 2010, the court sentenced Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to 14 years in prison. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time they had already served for their previous convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, later the sentence was contested and the court shortened their prison term by one year.