The semblance of what passes for a court “trial” took place over the past few months in Moscow and the verdict was what everyone who believed in social justice expected– the defendants were deemed to be guilty. Of course, they were deemed to be guilty by the Putin government even before the trial took place because one of the defendants, Mikhail Khodorkovsky has the nerve to challenge the prime minister by suggesting he might run against him for president of the country. The British Foreign Office blasted the verdict which was the second time Khodorkovsky had been found guilty of a business crime. “This and similar cases have a negative impact on Russia’s repputation for fulfilling its international human rights obligations and improving its investment climate.” Representatives of the FO had attended trial sessions as had Chris Bryant, former minister for Europe who commented; “Having visited the trial and seen for myself the farcical way in which it was being conducted, with ludicrous trumped up charges and a petulant martinet of a prosecutor, it is entirely predictable that (Khodorkovsky) has been found guilty.”
One European leader after another has termed the verdict a violation of human rights. Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westrerwelle, termed it, “highly alarming and a step backwards for the country on its road toward modernization.”
The moral of this “trial” is you are guilty, by definition, if you dare to question the power of Vladmir Putin.