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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Putin’s Soviet-Style Justice System

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Once again the New York Times tells us the truth about conditions in the “miraculously transformed” nation of Russia — an irony of ironies, given the Times’ sordid past as an apologist for Joseph Stalin.

Today the Times provides the Russian news you will not hear about from the neo-Catholic establishment, which marches in lock step with Cardinal Sodano’s party line that the prophecies of the Message of Fatima “belong to the past.”

On September 8, 2003 the Times reported that Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin has been aiming his so-called crime efforts at — wouldn’t you know it? — his “old political enemies”, whom he has been prosecuting on various trumped up charges. The Times notes that “Such prosecutions only move the nation backward to the day when Russia’s powerful routinely chose who paid a price for breaking the law.”

Even the “Practicing Christian’s” lauded introduction of jury trials is a sham. It was only this summer that the city of Moscow had its first trial by jury. In any case, Russia’s higher courts routinely undo jury verdicts. Indeed, Russia’s Supreme Court “repeatedly rejects acquittals by lower courts, sometimes as many as three times for the same defendant.” There is no principle of double jeopardy in the Russian legal system. A defendant can be tried, retried, and tried yet again until the Russian Supreme Court gets the result it wants.

In other words, the jury trials that are afforded are only show trials. The real “trial” is before the Russian Supreme Court, which convicts whomever it likes regardless of the evidence. As the Times notes: “As in the old Soviet days, the Supreme Court continues to meddle in the lower courts, advising judges in advance instead of waiting for cases to arrive on appeal. Such top down justice robs the Russian populace of a decent judicial system, with independent judges, real juries and a presumption of innocence.”

No religious conversion. No economic conversion. No civil liberties conversion, in terms of freedom of press. And no judicial conversion, but rather mock trials, just like in the days of Joe Stalin.

Where, then, is the “conversion of Russia” hailed by Father Fox and the rest of his fellow neo-Catholic dupes since the non-consecration of Russia in 1984? The conversion of Russia exists, if anywhere, only in their minds. Meanwhile, the real people living in the real Russia must suffer the consequences of Cardinal Sodano’s party line on Fatima. Who would want to be judged by God for a debacle of such proportions?