Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Final Trial Speech And Verdict Postponed

Posted by Info on 15/12/2010

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s final speech at his trial on 15 December.
Respected Court!
Today is for me one more opportunity to look back at the past. I remember October 2003. My last day of freedom. Several weeks after my arrest, I was informed that President Putin had decided that I was going to have to
“sup prison gruel” for 8 years. Back then this was hard to believe.
Seven years have already passed since that day. Seven years is in any case quite a long stretch of time, and especially in prison. All of us have had time to reassess and rethink many things.
The prosecutors’ words – “give them 14 years” and “forget about previous court decisions” – lead me to conclude that over these years they have begun to fear me more, and to respect the law even less.….
I am proud of the fact that among thousands of employees at YUKOS, after 7 years of persecution, none have agreed to give false testimony, to sell their soul and conscience.

Dozens of people have been personally threatened, have been cut off from family and friends, and thrown in prison. Some have been tortured. But, even though they lost their health and years of their lives, they preserved what they considered most important, their human dignity…..
…A country that tolerates a situation where the bureaucratic and law enforcement machine in its own interests and not at all in the interests of the country holds tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of talented entrepreneurs, managers, and ordinary people in prison, instead of, and together with, criminals, is a sick country…
Your Honour, I am ready to understand that it is not easy for you, perhaps it is even terrifying, and I wish you courage.”

The verdict of a Moscow court that was to have begun 15 December in the trial of former Yukos Oil owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky has unexpectedly been postponed until 27 December. No reasons were given.


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