September 24, 2017

Mikhail Khodorkovsky jailed for six more years

Mikhail khodorkovsky - The smile of a man who knows that justice will be done one day, but just not any day soon.

Former oil tycoon billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has been sentenced to six more years in prison for fraud in what many see as a Christmas present from Uncle Vladimir.

Khodorkovsky 47, who was once Russia’s richest man, had been due to be released from prison next year but now will be forced to spend six more fun filled years behind bars.

Once seen as a threat to former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he was found guilty along with former business partner Platon Lebedev of stealing billions of dollars from their own oil firm, Yukos, and laundering the proceeds.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were first arrested in 2003 and sentenced in 2005 for fraud and tax evasion. Their lawyers have always argued that the charges were absurd since the amount of oil said to have been embezzled would be equivalent to the entire production of Yukos in the period concerned.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said about Khodorkovsky that “a thief belongs in prison”.

Judge Viktor Danilkin said that He [Khodorkovsky] could “only be reformed by being isolated from society”.

The United States of America and the United Kingdom offered the normal huffing and puffing of indignation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel fronted up saying she was “disappointed” by the sentence, and that “the impression remains that political motives played a role in the trial.”

The extended sentence will now keep Khodorkovsky in prison for the 2012 Russian Presidential elections. This of course is just coincidence. It is also coincidence that anyone who challenges or even critisizes Vladimir Putin ends up getting silenced one way or another.

Spare a thought for Judge Viktor Danilkin who had started reading the 800 page verdict on Monday and only got to the final verdict on Wednesday. All the thanks he got for his marathon effort was from
Khodorkovsky’s mother who shouted at him “May you and your offspring be damned!”