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No decision on reversing Khodorkovsky judgment due until September

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - The court will not consider the petition to reverse the judgment on the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev-Krainov case until September 2005, said Genrikh Padva, Khodorkovsky's lawyer.

Moscow's Meshchansky Court yesterday sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Yukos chief, and Platon Lebedev, the head of the Menatep group, to nine years in prison.

Padva said the defense would lodge an appeal against the ruling in the Moscow City Court, a superior court, within ten days after it gets hold of the copy of the sentence. "It will take a long time too. I don't know when the application for reversing the judgment will be considered - in September or October," the lawyer said in a live interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

He specified that all the parties to the process would have to study the many-volume minutes of the court sessions.

According to Padva, it will take a long time, which is why the petition would hardly be considered before September.

"Khodorkovsky's role or involvement in practically all the charges was not established," said Padva.

He said the very fact of the crime had not been established on most charges. "The event did happen but it was not a crime, at least according to the legislation of the time," said the lawyer.

Padva said he had heard that the prosecutors planned to bring more charges against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.

"Such threats have been expressed formally and informally. The charges have not yet been brought, so we will consider them when they arrive," Padva said.

He added Khodorkovsky had not discussed the possibility of filing for pardon with his lawyers.

"We have never discussed it, so I will not comment on it," said Padva.