Russia Legalizes Barbarism
A few weeks ago, we reported on how Russian courts have ruled that it is illegal for women to work in various jobs that men are genetically better suited for.
More recently, we noted the European Union’s conclusion that corruption is so widespread in the Russian court system that justice is impossible to obtain.
But none of that prepared us for the revelation provided by Khodorkovsky attorney Robert Amsterdam while translating a report about his client’s second trial, now underway, from the pages of Novaya Gazeta.
During the trial, it seems the prosecutor began reading from a document. The defense attorney objected, arguing that the contents were secret attorney-client communications. The judge asked the prosecutor whether she was simply quoting or including her own comments. The assistant prosecutor told the prosecutor to ignore the judge and keep reading. The furious judge asked the assistant how she dared suggest ignoring his question, and the assistant answered that it was because people in the audience were laughing. The judge then responded: “Well let ‘em laugh! If the convoy [Khodorkovsky's guards--Trans.] deems it necessary, it will stop them.”
So not only do the prosecutors brazenly flout the judge’s authority, but the judge himself admits that the police decide what happens in his courtroom. In other words, the forces that are prosecuting (or should we say persecuting?) Khodorkovsky are in charge, not the (supposedly) impartial judge.
This is what passes for “justice” in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And it’s to say nothing of the main point of the article, which is to expose the fact that the charges being leveled against Khodorkovsky are not even logically possible, like accusing him of flying by flapping his arms like a bird, and they are totally inconsistent with the prior convictions of YUKOS personnel that prosecutors have obtained.
In other words, it’s not an exceptional case, but the rule — as the EU’s study clearly shows. Russia courts are no more just or impartial than were the courts of the USSR, and they are ruled over by a proud KGB spy. Russia is a neo-Soviet state, bearing down ever more viciously on the last vestiges of civil society and opposition that remain in country.
It is not Mikhail Khdorokovsky who is in prison, but the Russian people themselves — and they are their own jailer.