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Urgent Communication: Khodorkovsky and Lebedev Lawyers Detained by Police en Route to Chita

Urgent Communication: Khodorkovsky and Lebedev Lawyers Detained by Police en Route to Chita This evening in Moscow, lawyers of the defense teams for political prisoners Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, including lead lawyer Yuri Schmidt and Karinna Moskalenko, Yevgeny Baru, lead lawyer for Platon Lebedev, were detained by police at the airport on their way to Chita, taken to a station through a back door, and held for more than one hour without charges or explanation. After much vigorous protest, a senior officer gave instructions for the release of the male prisoners, who were being held in one cell. At this time, the whereabouts of Karinna Moskalenko are still unknown. In response to these warrant-less and unwarranted arrests, international defense counsel Robert Amsterdam issued the following comments: “It is clear that the games have begun once again,” said Mr. Amsterdam. “The constant harassment of the legal team – which has included interception of communications, physical intimidation, disbarment, imprisonment, and deportation – apparently will continue as we prepare to defend our client from new, fraudulent charges. One can only continue to condemn these ongoing attacks as a further abuse of process which renders hollow any assertions by the Russian president about the ‘dictatorship of law.’ It’s just dictatorship.”