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24.05.2011

Russia - Khodorkovsky trial

New ruling, same old politically-motivated outcome

A court in Moscow today issued its ruling in the appeal case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, upholding their second conviction but reducing the sentence of Khodorkovsky by one year. The Greens hit out at the ruling as politically-motivated and called on the EU to raise the issue at its forthcoming summit with Russia (10-11 June). Commenting on the ruling, Green MEP and chair of the EP sub-committee on human rights Heidi Hautala said:

"This ruling is yet another blow for the rule of law in Russia. Nobody is under any illusions about the politically-motivated outcome of this sham trial and the farcical and cosmetic re-sentencing. A trumped up 13 year sentence is just as outrageous as a trumped up 14 year sentence. Only the acquittal of Mikhail Khodorkovsky would restore the faith of the international community in the rule of law in Russia."

 Green MEP and expert on Russia Werner Schulz added:

"The EU cannot continue to brush concerns about the complete disregard for the rule of law in Russia under the table. The Khodorkovsky case must be put on the agenda of the forthcoming EU-Russia summit and we call on the European Commission and foreign policy high representative Cathy Ashton to take steps to this end."

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Richard More O'Ferrall

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