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Show Trial Theatrics

justice1116.gif Today’s news on the brazenly harsh deadline set in the Khodorovsky case speaks for itself – the prosecutors aren’t even pretending to play by the rules any more. Both Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are now both under the gun: they have about 36 days to carefully examine more than 30,000 pages of trumped up charges. The procuracy in this case is evidently indistinguishable from the board of directors at Rosneft, who have determined that it is in the interests of the power to ensure that this process is well under way during the lead up to the presidential selection in March.

The crass abstraction of “money laundering” charges against these Yukos executives, who at the time of their arrest were within inches of closing agreements with leading international oil corporations (who do quite a thorough job of due diligence), serve to obfuscate the largest theft of modern history. Rest assured that those who have sought to profit directly or indirectly from this miscarriage of justice, be they energy companies or financial entities, will one day be made to face justice.But we should not make the mistake of calling it a “process” or “trial” nor any other form of judicial process. The State’s conduct in this case is in clear violation of Russian and international law, and true rule of law courts from Switzerland to Strasbourg to Amsterdam are confirming what we have been arguing from the beginning – that the persecution is groundless and politically motivated. Were this a real court, the proceedings would have been stayed when advocate Karinna Moskalenko presented the motion months ago.We all know what awaits these defendants. They will be found guilty after a rushed show trial carried out with perfect timing to the managed elections, and sent to a hard labor camp in an even more remote corner of Russia. The determination and outcome of this case will further underscore the complete lack of legitimacy of this current government, not only throughout this entire Yukos process, but also in terms of its status as a functioning semi-democratic constitutional state.Let no one mistake this phony process for anything more than what it is: show trial theatrics brought to you by the KGB [don’t let the new acronym fool you].