Warrior Khodorkovsky slashes Putin yet Again
At the second trial of dissident oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky last week, not one but two major figures in the Putin government heaped scorn on the ludicrious charge that Khodorkovsky personally embezzled millions of tons of crude oil from his company while he was a free man.
First German Gref, the CEO of state-owned Sberbank, the largest financial institution in the country, and then Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko, a high-ranking cabinet official, stated that there were no reports of large volumes of oil going missing while Khodorkovsky was running his YUKOS oil concern. The prosecutor, who had called them as witnesses in support of the Kremlin’s case, was humiliated, and the proceedings degenerated into farce:
Prosecutor Valery Lakhtin tried to pose his own questions for Khristenko, but many were rejected by the judge to the evident irritation of Lakhtin, who left the courtroom several times during the three-hour hearing. Khodorkovsky interrupted Lakhtin several times, exclaiming at one point: “The prosecutor is lying!”
“The prosecutor can’t lie!” Lakhtin fired back, provoking laughter and applause among people in the courtroom.
That’s right, Mr. Putin: They’re laughing at you. And Mr. Khodorkovsky is grinning from ear to ear.
We’ve previously reported on how Khodorkovsky has been winning victory after victory against Putin, even from behind bars. First he published a devastating newspaper article calling for revolution against Putin, then he launched a massive legal assault in the European Court for Human Rights, which recently saw Russia begging for competent legal representation in the most pathetic manner imaginable.
And now, in the very courtroom where he is being persecuted, Khodorkovsky is laughing as Putin’s prosecutor collapses for all the world to see.