Publications / Justice Under Pressure: First Month of Trial

Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, former chief executive of the Yukos Oil Company, and his business partner Platon L. Lebedev, were convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment in 2005 and banished to Siberia. They were victims of severe abuses of institutions of Russian state power – from investigatory, prosecutorial and regulatory authorities to the judiciary – committed by a group of figures in the political establishment who viewed them as challengers or competitors. The interests of political and commercial adversaries had coalesced to orchestrate the state’s incarceration of the two men and raiding of their company’s assets. When Khodorkovsky and Lebedev became eligible for parole in 2008, those in power who still perceive them as a threat stepped up a long-dormant effort to find new grounds to keep them incarcerated for a long time to come. In addition to keeping Khodorkovsky and Lebedev isolated from society, their adversaries seek to conceal the corrupt and criminal actions committed against them and other victims of the Yukos affair with the participation and under the protection of high-ranking officials.

This summary covers courtroom proceedings from March 31 to April 27, 2009.

Click here to read the full version of Justice Under Pressure: The First Month of Trial Executive Summary.

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