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Monday, July 09, 2007

An Uncivilized Country, Part IV: They Don't know the Meaning of the Word "Law"

Two recent examples highlight the extent of Russia's barbaric, uncivilized nature. When it comes to justice, as far as Russians are concerned, the principles of the law simply do not apply to them except when they work in Russia's favor. In other words, it's exactly the same situation that obtained in the bad old Soviet days. How can the result for Russia be any different than what the USSR experienced? Why does Russia fear cooperation with the Yushchenko and Litvinenko investigations? Only one reason: That would more quickly expose Russia's guilt. And it's interesting to speculate about which form of guilt the Kremlin fears more: (a) State-sponsored murder and attempted murder; (b) the utterly incompetent, Keystone-cops-like way in which these venal, cowardly acts were carried out, indicative in microcosm of Russian society generally.

The BBC reports:

The Ukrainian prosecutor general has said Russia is not co-operating with his inquiry into the poisoning of President Victor Yushchenko in 2004. Oleksandr Medvedko said that despite two requests, Moscow had not provided a sample of dioxin, the poison given to Mr Yushchenko before he was elected. The highly dangerous toxin left his face badly disfigured and pockmarked.

An investigation into the attempted murder of Mr Yushchenko was opened, but no-one has ever been charged. Mr Yushchenko's pro-Western allies have accused Russia of being behind the attempt to kill him, a charge Moscow denies.

'No explanations'

Tests in late 2004 revealed that pure TCDD, the most harmful known dioxin, had been used on Mr Yushchenko. At a press conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, Mr Medvedko said only three countries in the world produced the chemical. He said a sample could point to the origin of the poison and that he had therefore asked for dioxin samples from these places. Mr Medvedko said his office had received samples from the UK and USA, but not yet from Russia. "We sent two letters asking for legal assistance in this sense, but there has been no positive result yet," he said. "The Russian side is giving no explanations. They are keeping silent." Mr Medvedko said he hoped to press the matter by holding talks with his Russian counterpart in the near future. Mr Yushchenko was poisoned shortly before he swept to power in the 2004 liberal Orange Revolution, which overturned Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's allegedly fraudulent election victory.

The BBC continues:

Russia has officially refused a UK extradition request for Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the murder of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office said the constitution did not allow for the extradition of its citizens. However, it said it would consider the possibility that Mr Lugovoi could be put on trial in Russia. UK-Russian relations have been strained since Mr Litvinenko died of exposure to the radioactive isotope polonium-210. UK officials have said they expect full co-operation from the Russian authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice in Britain.

Inquiry 'possible'

It has taken Russia five weeks to give an official response, although Prosecutor General Yuri Chayka has repeatedly said that no Russian national would stand trial in Britain. However, a statement from his office said Mr Lugovoi could be investigated "if the British side makes the corresponding inquiry and offers the necessary material for a criminal case". Mr Lugovoi, himself a former Russian agent, denies the charges against him, and last month accused British secret services of being involved in the murder. He says that either MI6, fugitive Kremlin opponent Boris Berezovsky or the Russian mafia were behind the killing. The Russian Federal Security Service said last month that a criminal case had been opened based on remarks and information provided by Mr Lugovoi.


NightFire said...

Well, looks like the poison laboratory still holds its place in Lubyanka... Sad.

La Russophobe said...

Thanks for the great link!