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Back to the Future

Reading today’s news of the continued cruelty against the imprisoned Yukos executive Vasily Alexanyan is like going back to the future – at least in this court, Stalinist times are back in full swing. Russian prosecutors and judges involved in these Yukos cases appear to be engaged in conducting trials and judicial procedures at the behest of the most radical members of the siloviki to expand the circle of those responsible for committing crimes against international law and fundamental human rights.

To place on trial a man who is suffering in excruciating pain, and who is terminally ill without releasing him to the care of a clinic and ensuring proper medical attention is being provided, represents such a departure from concepts of due process that one is left horrified both at the specter of this conduct and the silence of the West.I have come up with some of the reasons, which I will discuss in no meaningful order. Firstly, the procuracy and the court well understand that Vasily Alexanyan is dying, which is why they are speeding up the process to ensure that they can obtain some form of judgment which under Russian law they can use to the prejudice of Khodokovsky and Lebedev. Secondly, they will not release him because if real independent medical examination and practitioners get involved in documenting exactly how evil this judicial farce is, they may be forced to cease the process. Thirdly, the more individuals that become implicated in the persecution of Yukos defendants, the safer are those at the top of the executive who have personally profited from the Yukos theft.I would urge those prosecutors and judicial officers engaged in this conduct, which shocks the humanity of mankind, that they enjoy no actual immunity and that one day, when the lunatics are no longer in charge of this particular asylum, they may be called to account.