A Theatrical Performance of Russian Justice By the Polittechnologist Many people were shocked by the Basmanny Court’s recent just ruling that investigative actions with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev should have been carried out anywhere but Chita, and continue to lose sleep over what it might portend. As well they should, because in my opinion, this ruling is the most frightening move yet in the whole saga of YUKOS and its managers and shareholders. Why? Because this is the first signal of the joining together into a single whole of all the many criminal cases that have been fabricated with varying degrees of meticulousness. Moscow is where we find Pichugin, and Alexanian, Pereverzin, and others. Bakhmina is sitting out her sentence in Mordovia. Dragging all of them all the way out to Chita is bad. And so it is that they’ve decided to make a gesture of sorts in the Basmanny Court. It seems the procuracy was wrong, so the place for conducing the investigation must be changed. And the small fact that the actual investigation has already been completed (in Chita) seems to be beside the point. As a result, the court has actually played right into the procuracy’s hands – and not once, but twice. First, it tactically waited until the investigative actions ended, and second, it provided a lawful opportunity to continue the investigation, only now in aggregate with the other cases. Just wait and see – a new strand, and a new case, are sure to appear in the very near future. And the seemingly lawful ruling by the Basmanny Court has in actuality paved the way for further lawlessness. Which could take place somewhere in Saransk or Tambov or wherever. But don’t delude yourself for one moment about that court ruling – because there is no justice in Russia. None. Period. What there is, is a political decision to destroy Khodorkovsky, and you are seeing it being carried out. You well might ask why the procuracy has even bothered to protest the Basmanny ruling if this is so? No mystery here –they just happen to be huge fans of a peculiar genre of theatrical performance known as “playing at justice”.