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Waving the Fairness Flag

Over at the RUSSIA! blog, one of our favorite new sites, Katya Tylevich tries to read the tea leaves on the latest dismissal of the preposterous lawsuit filed against Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

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.