A Moscow court has delayed jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's appeal hearing until Thursday so that his own lawyer can represent him.

The court agreed to Khodorkovsky's request Tuesday after his lead attorney, Genrikh Padva said he would be discharged from a hospital by Thursday.

The court had earlier ordered other lawyers to represent him, but he said they were not familiar enough with the case to appeal his conviction and nine-year sentence on fraud and tax evasion charges.

Supporters of the former Yukos chief say prosecutors are trying to hurry the appeal to prevent him from running in a December parliamentary by-election. Prosecutors say he is trying to delay the case because under the law he can run while his appeal is being heard, but disqualified if it is rejected.

Opposition supporters call the case against him political - a charge Kremlin authorities deny.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.