Robert Amsterdam, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s American lawyer, has announced that Russia intends to put his client on trial for the same offense twice inside MK’s prison in Siberia rather than in court. Siberian Light points out that MK is being charged with “laundering” nearly twice as much money as his maximum net worth, which “shouts out ‘politically motivated charge’.” Amsterdam adds that when, upon learning of the news that his client would be charged, Khodorkovsky’s Russian lawyer Yuri Schmidt tried to fly to Siberia to meet with his client and was promptly arrested by Moscow authorities at the airport and subjected to harassment. In other words, for all these reasons and more, it’s clear that there is no such thing as “justice” in neo-Soviet Russia any more. The regime will do as it likes no matter what the “law” might be, and the lemming-like population will sit by and watch it happen, just as in the days of Stalin.
Amsterdam speculates on the classic neo-Soviet reasons why the Kremlin would want to make a move against the lawyers:
According to our political technologist, the detentions were probably a “dry run” rehearsal of sorts, a “bench test” on a small scale in a safe and controlled environment, where there wouldn’t be any major repercussions if anything went wrong. Better to make mistakes now and have a chance to correct them than to fall flat on one’s face during some really important stage of the game. The power doesn’t like to look weak.
So, what could they have been “testing”? Take your pick – in Russia’s culture of secrecy, nobody will ever know for sure:
• Do the police respond quickly and efficiently to a political order that comes down from above?
• Who are the first people the defense phones in a crisis? (Answer: human rights groups and the domestic and international press, all of whom immediately spread the news worldwide. By allowing the lawyers to make these phone calls during an insignificant incident, the authorities have now learned their “political technology” paradigm.)
• Do they phone anyone in government – is there anybody still left in the halls of power whom they might still consider sympathetic to their cause? (If so, such people are clearly potential enemies and need to be removed from their posts.)
• How does the press respond to such an event? Is the case still newsworthy? (Answer: thankfully for us, yes!)
• Which “press organs” give the story the quickest and deepest and most objective coverage? (These are clearly a threat that needs to be neutralized.)
• In what ways is the true story distorted by the time it hits the headlines? (Useful knowledge if you want to use the “press organs” you control to help “shape” reality for public consumption.)