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Khodorkovsky’s Letter to Yuri Chaika

Below is the full translated text of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s letter to Chief Prosecutor Yuri Chaika announcing his hunger strike in support of former Yukos colleague Vasily Alexanyan (Alexanian).

To Procurator-General of the RF Yu.Ya. Chaika Statement

The situation that has evolved with Alexanyan compels me to address you directly. V.G. Alexanyan is now already found in the jurisdiction of the prosecution, and not of the investigation. S.K. Karimov, who has a direct relation to what is going on, likewise works directly in subordination to you. For the past few years, S.K. Karimov, acting in direct contact, as I have grounds to assert, with I.I. Sechin, has undertaken numerous, to put it mildly, doubtful actions with respect to the formulation of evidence of nonexistent crimes.

Including by way of threats, the initiation of cases against witnesses who don’t comply. A part of these threats has been realized, cases have been fabricated, people are being hunted for or in jail.It is precisely the possibilities offered by such pressure on people that lead to the concealment by the investigation of documents about which I have filed motions on numerous occasions.

However, until an immediate threat to the life of potential witnesses was at stake, I considered it possible to conduct an exclusively procedural dispute, awaiting the appearance in Russia of a long-promised independent judiciary.The situation with my lawyer V.G. Alexanyan has gone beyond the bounds.

It became known to me from his statement that they had not only interrogated him about me, but had directly connected the giving by him of testimony that would suit the prosecution and S.K. Karimov personally with the granting to him of medical attention to the extent necessary.

Furthermore, he feels that he may not live long enough to see a court decision.

I do not have contact with V.G. Alexanyan, and I can judge about his situation only from his statement in the Supreme Court.

I know that the UFSIN FOR Moscow can lie to the court. I know on my own example with a hunger strike, that is why their declarations do not raise my hopes.

In such a manner, I am placed before an impossible moral choice:

– to confess to nonexistent crimes, saving thereby the life of a person, but to break the fates of the guiltless who have been marked as “accomplices” of mine,

– to assert my rights, await the establishment of an independent judiciary, but to become the reason for the possible death of my lawyer Alexanyan.

I have thought long and can not make the choice before which they have put me.

It is precisely for this reason that I am compelled to step outside procedural bounds and to inform you of the start of a hunger strike.

I very much hope that the agency headed by you will adopt a decision guaranteeing V.G. Alexanyan life and medical attention.

In the protocol of familiarization of 29.01.2008 is made a notation: “handed statement to the name of Yu.Ya. Chaika on the start as of 29.01.2008 of a hunger strike. Reasons set forth in statement. Signed, M.Khodorkovsky”.