Gibraltar Island, and other absurdities from the Khodorkovsky trial


Maryana Torocheshnikova writes about the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in OpenDemocracy:

The new charge against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev is, among other things, based on many documents containing absurd factual errors. As an example the defence highlighted the low quality of translations of international business correspondence adduced as evidence. For instance the translator misunderstood the word “products” as the names of several countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. There are also dates here such as the 32nd of December, the 33rd and 36th of December. This one of Lebedev’s favourite subjects for sarcastic comment, and he frequently reminds the prosecutors of another absurdity. The investigator is either incompetent or simply ignorant, because he describes Gibraltar as an island.  Lebedev  said in court “If you tell me, your honour, where, in which galaxy or on which planet, the Island of Gibraltar is located, I will admit that I am guilty of all these crimes.”

He was supported by Khodorkovsky, who asked: “How can you steal oil ‘by transferring it to the balance sheet?’ This way of stealing oil by writing down figures, without any need to pump it into a pipe, is impossible without telekinesis. If someone actually did this under my management, and the state prosecution can explain to me how it was done, then I am ready to admit my guilt, because this is such an incredible scientific discovery that – well, bugger it, I don’t mind going to jail for it.”