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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kremlin Overplays its Hand on Khodorkovsky Retrial

ITAR-TASS reports:

Former YUKOS owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev will be brought to Moscow for additional investigative actions, a lawyer said. “According to today’s court ruling, the Prosecutor General’s Office has to bring Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to Moscow for investigative actions within the framework of a new case,” Khodorkovsky’s lawyer Yuri Shmidt told Itar-Tass. Earlier in the day, the Moscow City Court confirmed that the investigative actions related to new charges brought against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev in Chita were unlawful. In March 2007, Moscow’s Basmanny Court upheld the defendants’ complaint and ruled that the investigation was unlawful. The court thus obligated the Prosecutor General’s Office to bring Khodorkovsky and Lebedev back to Moscow for investigative actions at the place where the crime was committed
The Kremlin has made a grave strategic error in seeking to retry Khodorkovsky for the same crime. First, the mere fact that it is doing so makes it look not only malignant, but weak. Second, it's been forced to publicly retract its shoddy, illegal attempt to try Khodorkovsky in Siberia for crimes committed in Moscow. More weakness. And third, now it is forced to bring Khodorkovsky into the Moscow maelstrom where Kasparov and Kasyanov are continuing the drumbeat of protest on the streets. These are ham-handed, neo-Soviet moves we might have expected from the Politburo. Undoubtedly, when Putin rose to power he planned to avoid mistakes of this kind and do dictatorship "right this time." No such luck.

1 comment:

Vova said...

Very true, but should be maelstrom (not mailstrom)