“Conversion of Russia” Update
The Sham of Russian Justice
by Christopher A. Ferrara
As this column has been reporting over the past two years, Vladimir (the “practicing Christian”) Putin has used bogus criminal prosecutions to seize control of Russia’s giant gas and oil firms. One such prosecution, that of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former executive of the giant oil firm Yukos, illustrates that the “justice system” in Russia today is just as much a farce as it was under Brezhnev or Khrushchev or Stalin.
A recent report on the Khodorkovsky trial by Fox News correspondent Dana Lewis notes that “road construction equipment that never works just happens to conveniently keep pro-Khodorkovsky demonstrators and the media covering the trial from getting within a block of the courthouse. Most reporters find it difficult even to get inside the courthouse. I am led inside by one of the defense lawyers who invites me to see ‘what’s really going on’ in the court and in Russia.”
The defense lawyer, Maria Logan, said to Lewis: “Listen to the evidence, there isn’t any.” Rather, “According to Logan, the three justices of the court simply read back the prosecutor’s case and add a few comments here and there. Unlike American courts the judges ‘don’t analyze or interpret the law, because they don’t seem to understand it’, she said.”
Another member of Khodorkovsky’s defense team, Robert Amsterdam, put it this way: “The government of Russia stole from the people and shareholders of Russia; what you have is something called ‘state capture’…” Logan, who “grew up here in St. Petersburg before becoming a lawyer in Washington,” concluded that this case “shows me there is no rule of law whatsoever in this country. By any legal standard, when you look at what’s going on in court this is a farce.”
Lewis observes that “Of course the verdict will be guilty. All that’s left is the jail term of somewhere up to 10 years. The case has damaged Putin’s image in the West as well as scared off Western investment.”
Western investors won’t risk a plugged nickel in Russia, but useful idiots in the Catholic Church tell us that Russia has undergone a “miraculous transformation” since the supposed consecration of 1984. Tell that to Mr. Khodorkovsky’s team of lawyers. Tell that to the Catholic clergy who have been permanently expelled from Russia because they are on Putin’s secret black list. Tell that to the Catholics of Russia, who are less numerous today than they were before the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Tell that to the souls of all the children who have been put to death in their mothers’ wombs in Russian abortion mills since 1984.
As Mr. Khodorkovsky awaits his inevitable guilty verdict, the useful idiots who have proclaimed Russia’s “conversion” since 1984 ought to consider the verdict that awaits them — not from a sham tribunal, but from a heavenly court whose justice is perfect.