Novaya Gazeta: Interview with Platon Lebedev

December 23, 2008

Platon Lebedev answered questions from readers of Novaya Gazeta.

At what stage is your first criminal case found?  Have you submitted a complaint to the Supreme Court?  If yes, then was there a response?

With respect to the first criminal case a complaint was filed by my defense in supervision procedure to the Supreme Court of the RF.  Initiation of supervisory proceedings was denied by judge of the SC RF V.K. Yakovlev supposedly after study of the case materials.  In actuality, our case [file] was not requested from the Meshchansky Court and was not studied by judge V.K. Yakovlev, bearing witness of which is the response of the chairman of the Meshchansky Court to an inquiry by my defense.  In this connection, as well as that of multitudinous indisputable facts of brazen falsification, a declaration of a crime was submitted by my defense with a request to initiate against this bad-faith judge a criminal case under Art.305 CC RF in connection with the issuance of a knowingly unjust decision.  The defense is preparing a supervisory complaint to the name of Chairman of the SC RF V.M. Lebedev.

At what stage right now is found the second criminal case?  Why were the new charges brought in Chita?

With respect to the second fabricated criminal case, a knowingly false and schizophrenic charge was brought against me on 5 February of the year 2007, while already on 16 February of the year 2007 it was declared to me about the conclusion of the so-called «preliminary investigation».  After my and the defense’s declarations of a crime, the so-called «investigation» was forced to remove from the schizophrenic charge the most odious official forgeries – 60 trillion dollars, falsification of data about my labor activity – and on 30 June of the year 2008 to bring a «new» schizophrenic charge.  For example, the phenomenal «theft» of all the oil from «Yuganskneftegas», as the result of which an accumulated undistributed profit on the order of 2 billion dollars appeared at it.  At the present time, familiarization is taking place with the case materials.  The charges in Chita were brought unlawfully, because the «case» was being secretly «investigated» since the year 2004 in Moscow and I did not know anything about this, by which my right to a defense was violated.  The aim of the criminal prosecution – to maximally complicate the possibility of my release, in order to rule out the possibility of the return of the property vandalized from us (or its compensation) by various political and criminal low-lifes.

Has the Russian Federation executed the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, issued with respect to your application?

The Russian Federation has not executed either the decision of the Constitutional Court of the RF of 22.03.2005, nor the decision of the European Court of 25.10.2007.  Formally, they paid me out the compensation appointed by the court in the amount of 10 thsd. euros, which I donated in equal shares to the «Korallovo» lyceum and the Sakharov Center.  In essence, the powers of the RF ignored these universally binding court decisions, finding a violation of my rights, guaranteed by the Constitution of the RF and the European Convention, because to the arguments of my defense in this part, cited in the supervisory complaint, about how by law (Arts.413-415 CCP RF) in connection with the decree of the European Court of Human Rights that has entered on 02.06.2008 into force and other new and discovered-anew circumstances, the unjust verdict of the Meshchansky Court must be reversed, judge of the SC RF V.K. Yakovlev did not react in any way at all.

What is your attitude towards the actions of the power in relation to YUKOS lawyers Vasily Alexanyan and Svetlana Bakhmina?

I had already spoken out in this regard – this is inhuman in the 21 century, this is a return to the gestapo.  The «low-lifes» are training themselves on these guiltless people and, perhaps, preparing themselves for new «exploits»

The bail for Alexanyan – a test for lice of his YUKOS case-fellows?

No.  This is an already-familiar ordinary racket of the political criminal low-lifes, found in power.  Together with that, I very much hope that right-thinking people (i.e. not low-lifes) will help Alexanyan’s relatives in this not-simple situation as well.  I likewise ask them about this very much, when I get out and am free – we’ll figure it all out.

How can you characterize today’s political structure in Russia?

I agree with Andrei Illarionov that right now our ruling regime looks like a regime of political and criminal low-lifes (see his February theses).  Will Medvedev be able to change anything – we’ll see.  For now, it is premature to make any substantiated conclusions and forecasts about the future of the country.

Do you intend, Platon, to go into the Duma and, further, begin a presidential campaign?
Sincerely yours,
Sergey Sirota

I am not a politician.  Over five and a half years of non-freedom, I owe a lot to my large family, children, grandchildren.  But to transform Russia into an open civil society, I will help as much as I am able to.

Esteemed Platon Leonidovich, now already, in my opinion, nobody had doubts about domestic justice.  In your view, why is the power so afraid of your release and is attempting to fabricate a new charge?

In your question is actually contained the answer.  It is afraid among others because it doesn’t want to change places.

Platon Leonidovich! – What kind of plans do you have?  Will you engage in business?  Will you engage in politics? – Do you have a desire to write «memoirs»? – Do you consider possible in the next few years the liberation of Russia from authoritarianism?

My first plans after release – this is family and medical care.  Everything else – after I restore myself and come into norm.

Esteemed Platon Leonidovich!  How do you and Mikhail Khodorkovsky assess the situation of the crisis and what would the two of you have done if you had remained at your posts?

I experience a great deal of distress in connection with the latest crisis in our country and in the world.  For Russia this crisis is not only financial, not only economic, but also yet another crisis of power.  The scale of state corruption is pushing the country towards social cataclysms.  The consequences of this crisis are unpredictable.  The ocean of everyday official lies and belligerent rhetoric complicates for citizens a precise understanding and awareness of what is going on, both in the country, and in the world.

They arrested me unlawfully in 2003, while now it is already the end of 2008, therefore it is complex to respond – would I remain in 2008 at my post as head of the International investment holding company GML.

Deeply esteemed Platon Leonidovich, do you consider economically substantiated the measures undertaken by the government for minimization of the impact of the crisis on the economy of the country?  What, in your view, must be the algorithm of the actions of the government in today’s situation?  All the best to you and Happy New Year!

Thank you for the greetings, by the way, I wish you as well as everybody a Happy New Year!  To the main question I will answer in brief:  individual measures are substantiated, inasmuch as they are dictated and copied beyond the border, but the principal measures are only aggravating the crisis, are spinning out inflation and are ruinous for the economy as a whole.  The lack of professionalism leads to a situation where the power is not guiding, but reacting.  Plus, the practically complete lack of trust of the power and other institutions in one another, as well as of society towards the power, which only aggravates the problem.

How do you think, until what period in our country will the squeezing of business at the level of the state continue?

Until a tendency and a turn towards an open civil society don’t prevail.

*Tuzik is a popular Russian name for a dog, similar to “Spot” or “Rover” in English.  This common Russian idiomatic phrase conveys the mess of rubber that remains after a hot-water bottle has been given to Tuzik to chew on and play with for a while.
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