MOSCOW, October 2 - RAPSI. The Volga District Federal Commercial Court has registered an appeal from Luxemburg-based Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. concerning the invalidation of loan agreements it had signed with Samaraneftegaz, a subsidiary of state-run Rosneft, worth $98.6 million.

Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. was controlled by former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev.

A Moscow district court sentenced both businessmen to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering in late 2010. They were set to be released in 2017, considering 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 and now they are expected to be released in 2016.

Neft-Activ, another Rosneft subsidiary, sought to invalidate the loan agreements signed on July 20 and July 27, 2004. The company maintained that the "contracts are bogus deals aimed at concealing the true agreement, which was the illegal transfer of funds from Samaraneftegaz to Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. and the subsequent return of the funds to Samaraneftegaz as a loan."

The loans issued to Samaraneftegaz amounted to 2.415 billion rubles ($77.3 million). The company was also charged 664.8 million rubles ($21.3 million) in interest.

The second instance court agreed to the arguments presented by the Samara Regional Commercial Court, which held in favor of Neft-Activ in February.

The Eleventh Commercial Court of Appeals (Samara) upheld the lower courts judgment and dismissed the appeal filed by Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. against the Samara court ruling and thus the ruling came into force.