A prominent human rights lawyer fears that Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika will intervene to force her disbarment Tomorrow a disciplinary review board of the Moscow Bar Association will meet to decide whether or not to disbar human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko on the absurd grounds of failing to provide an proper defense for Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Now more than ever, she needs our unwavering support, and all those who argue that justice and regular procedure are still possible in Russia’s courts should also passionately oppose this process, irregardless of their opinion of Moskalenko’s clients. From the Times:
Mrs Moskalenko told The Times: “Our complaints are always made against Russia but we are not against Russia. We are against the wrong actions of the Russian authorities. We are for Russia and Russia’s people and for improving its legal system.” Her efforts brought an award from the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights last year. She was elected to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), based in Switzerland, in 2003. “The case against her has no basis in terms of her conduct as a lawyer,” Roisin Pillay, the ICJ’s spokeswoman said. “She is being victimised for representing people that the Government is opposed to, and that’s a concern for the rule of law in Russia.” … She is under no illusion about the real motivation for the attack after the failure so far of a two-year investigation by Russia’s tax police to force the closure of her law centre. Mrs Moskalenko is relying on the independence of her legal peers, who form a majority on the disciplinary panel, to save her career tomorrow. But she fears that the Prosecutor-General will appeal to the courts, where it will be easier to secure a decision against her.