Dimitry Medvedev upon assuming the presidency promised the Russian people that law would be respected, but the second trial of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky raises questions about the accuracy of that promise. Khodorkovsky challenged Medvedev to carry out the promise of an honest judiciary and create independent courts or face the prospect that people eventually will protest in the streets. He charged in court that he had been “deprived of my right to know what I am being accused of,” because the charges are vague. He has also been denied the right to have his former chief financial officer to be allowed to testify on his behalf.
Naturally, prosecutors once again trotted out charges about conspiracies and plots because in Putin Russia if an individual believes in law that means he is, by definition, involved in some sort of plot.