Is this small victory a sign of hope for Khodorkovsky? Not likely.
He is, after all, facing yet another trial in Moscow. Preliminary hearings in the new case, which could add more than a decade to Khodorkovsky’s sentence, start on March 3, and it may very well be that the dismissal of the “gay allegation” is actually a bad omen; rejection of this comparatively minor — and likely prefabricated — case may be the Kremlin waving its “fairness flag.” Now when the court speedily convicts Khodorkovsky of embezzlement and all the other charges, it will have a recent acquittal to shove in the face of critics.
We’ll try to wait for the official verdict before declaring this thing a show trial double-header, but remember, you heard it here first.