A Life in the Day of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

mbk070209.jpgIn the Sunday Times of London, Mark Franchetti interviews Mikhail Khodorkovsky on his conditions in prison, the absurd second trial, and how he fills the endless days.

The campaign against me was organised by the Kremlin. The first case, which got me eight years, was out of greed; the current one is out of cowardice, and I’m facing up to 22 years. It’s hard to say what my enemies convinced Vladimir Putin of. Maybe he really thought I was plotting some coup — which is ridiculous, as I was supporting two opposition parties which at best could have won 15% of votes in elections. More likely it was an excuse to raid Russia’s most successful oil company.

I’m often asked why I did not flee abroad. I thought it would be admitting Iwas guilty and I’d be leaving Lebedev in the lurch. But I also thought Iwould face a proper trial. Instead there has been no fair trial. Even inRussia few people now believe my trial is fair and unbiased.

After court I am driven back to jail. Hello cell! I then have two hours toeat, read the newspapers, do my laundry, write letters. I have already spentmore than 2,000 days like this. Who knows how many more await me? One of thehardest things is not being able to predict one’s future. Guards use it as apsychological tool. Watches are forbidden, and you are never told why youare being led out of your cell. One just has to relax and take things asthey come.

Read the full article here.