Letter to the Editor: Reply to “Given Free Publicity On NTV, Khodorkovsky Only Incriminates Himself Further” (06/11/2011).
In a recent blog post, you touted a report about Mikhail Khodorkovsky on state-owned Russian TV channel NTV. Your post, which implied the Russian Kremlin is being open about its prosecution of Khodorkovsky, was grossly misleading.
You failed to notice that this reporting came only after Khodorkovsky’s conviction. You also failed to notice that public ignorance about the trial itself increased dramatically from 2005, clearly showing that the Kremlin hid the entire proceeding from the public when it counted.
By contrast, you grossly mischaracterize Western reporting of the recent EHCR verdict relating to Khodorkovsky. Contrary to your false claim, a vast number of Western outlets touted the court’s refusal to find Khodorkovsky’s conviction political.
You also mischaracterize the EHCR verdict itself, as did numerous Western reports. The verdict permits Khodorkovsky’s lawyers to submit additional evidence showing political motivation and does not find no such motivation was present. Instead, the decision merely finds that sufficient evidence for a conviction on that point has not yet been submitted, and the court’s rules require a truly profound showing in this regard.
You totally ignore the numerous convictions handed down against the Kremlin by the EHCR for grossly violating Khodorkovsky’s legal rights, actions which the court called “inhuman.” In other words, a stunning formal European pronouncement of Russian barbarism. The Kremlin is now Khodorkovsky’s debtor to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, and there are numerous other challenges by Khodorkovsky’s lawyers to the Kremlin’s illegal actions still pending the European courts.
Predictably, you also totally ignore the ludicrous nature of accusing Khodorkovsky of stealing hundreds of millions of tons of oil, and you ignore the unquestionable fact that Putin has failed to keep his promise to purge Russia of oligarchs. All he has in fact done is to purge the oligarchs who are not pro-Putin, blithely allowing those close to him to continue doing exactly the same things for which Khodorkovsky rots in Siberia.
In short, far from confirming honesty and openness on the part of Khodorkovsky’s foes, your post merely shows in detail how their mendacity and subterfuge continue.