Mikhail Khodorkovsky was once the richest man in Russia until he dared to challenge the two bit President Vladmir Putin for office. Mr. Putin has no problem with crooked business people as long as they are on his side, but if a business leader gets the crazy idea he should run for president of the country, that is a crook too far. Mr. Khodorkovsky already is serving a prison term for tax evasion. One could assume if people in Russia were jailed for tax evasion half the country would be in jail, but the reason he is jailed has nothing to do with tax evasion, it stems from daring to organize a political party which wanted to challenge the authoritarian regime of Putin. Mikhail is now in court to face charges of embezzlement, but for some reason the public prosecutor has decided not to push for a full ten year term and offer a reduced length of time. Most probably the change stems from President Medvedev who, on occasion, offers the semblance of belief in a system of rule based on law and order.
In one sense, the trial of Khodorkovsky is a trial of the Russian people. If he can once again be convicted because of views that challenge the prime minister, then not a single person in Russia is capable of opposing the government without facing punitive action.