MOSCOW, July 5 (RAPSI, Maria Petrova) - The Moscow City Court has rejected a second appeal filed by Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin against the sentence of former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev, the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev website reported on Friday.
Lukin first sought to change the Meshchansky District Court decision to collect around 17 billion rubles ($550 million) in damages from Khodorkovsky and Lebedev in December 2012. In March, the Moscow City Court rejected the supervisory complaint he filed.
Lukin later filed a second appeal which sought to revise the decision upholding the Federal Taxation Service's civil claim.
Lukin said he disagreed with the decision and wanted to get it overturned. However, the Moscow City Court responded by saying that the "material damage inflicted by their crime amounted to 17 billion rubles, which was supported by the evidence collected on the case. Therefore, the court passed the right decision to collect the amount from the perpetrators in full."
The YUKOS case is one of the most high-profile cases in Russia in recent years. In the early 2000s, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were charged with economic crimes.
YUKOS, then the country's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt and its assets were taken over by Rosneft. Many in the West believe that the case was politically driven, although Moscow denies the charges. In 2005, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion as part of the first YUKOS case.
In late 2010, the Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced them to 14 years in prison for stealing oil and laundering money as part of a second case. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time that they had served for the convictions handed down during their first trial.
Their sentences were later reduced by one year. On December 20, 2012, the Moscow City Court Presidium reduced their sentences from 13 to 11 years.