MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - As the Moscow City Court will consider the appeal of ex-Yukos chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky by December, he has few chances of being elected to parliament, a respected Russian lawyer said Thursday.
Vladislav Grib, the vice president of the Russian Lawyers' Union, said: "From the legal standpoint, it will be very difficult for Khodorkovsky to run in a parliamentary election. My colleagues believe that the court will have heard the appeal by December. Given that the judgment is expected to come into effect before the elections start, Khodorkovsky is unlikely to become a candidate, and consequently a member of parliament."
"There have been precedents in Russia, when people under investigation have been elected to bodies of power, but in the given situation, it is virtually impossible, as the appeal hearings will be held in three weeks, and the election will only be in December," the lawyer said.
Grip added that Khodorkovsky stood few chances of dragging the proceedings out.
"Even if he wins a seat in the State Duma (the Russian parliament's lower chamber), he may lose it when the judgment comes into force," the lawyer said.
Khodorkovsky announced this week that he would run for the Duma in a by-election.
Alexander Veshnyakov, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, said any Russian had the right to be elected if he or she had not been imprisoned by a court of law as outlined in the Constitution.
On May 31, Khodorkovsky was found guilty of tax evasion, fraud and a failure to comply with a court ruling. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.