Tag Archives: Russian courts

Medvedev Challenged To Defend Independent Judiciary

President Dimitry Medvedev on assuming office promised the people of Russia he would make certain the court system of the nation was truly independent and free from government control. He is now being challenged to transform words into action. Former Yukos CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was arrested on trumped up charges by former President Putin, and then sentenced to eight years in prison for having the audacity to challenge Putin in a possible race for the presidency, is now asking the courts for a parole after having served half of his sentence. About 50% of non-violent prisoners are released at this point in their prison sentence.

Yury Schmidt, lawyer for Khodorkovsky, is leading the legal battle to free his client. He commented, “If(Medvedev) succeeds in achieving the independence of the courts, it won’t just be reform, but a revolution.” The case will be an indication if President Medvedev is able to carry through on promises to end court control by government. It will also be a test case if he is able to act in an independent manner on a case which challenges the desires of his mentor in life– Putin. After all, medvedev did not put Khodorkovsky in jail.

Life In Putin Russia, Courts Decide Who Represents Whom?

In 2004, during a terrorist attack in Belsan, Russian authorities completely fouled up operations which resulted in the death of over 300 people, including 150 children. Family and friends have been attempting for years to get some accurate answers to the disorganization and incompetence of police and military units whose inept performance led to tragic deaths. The Voice of Belsan was formed and it has been critical of the Putin government’s performance. But, this is Putin, Russia. A court ordered the group to be disbanded because a former members, Marina Meilnikova, claimed to be its leader, not Ella Kerayeva.

Courts certainly have a place in assisting organizations to identify leadership, but this writer is confused. If the issue is leadership of the Voice of Belsan, why not simply insist on a new election and allow its members to clarify leadership? Perhaps, the issue has never been who is the leader, but, rather, how to stifle any organization which dares attack the purity and brilliance of the Putin government.