Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Putin does not dare to free Khodorkovsky

Recent media speculation about Mikhail Khodorkovsky´s release has been rather naive. Mikhail Fedotov, who is heading the Russian government´s - that is to say Vlamidir Putin´s - "Human Rights Council", today quashed any hopes that the former Yukos chief may soon be released:

Mikhail Fedotov said that outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev had rejected a recommendation by experts saying that Khodorkovsky did not have to admit guilt in order to receive a presidential pardon.

Khodorkovsky was convicted twice on fraud charges and is currently set to remain in jail until 2017.

Khodorkovsky denies wrongdoing.

His supporters say his prosecutions have been punishment by the Kremlin for Khodorkovsky's support for the opposition and for posing a potential political challenge to the rule of Vladimir Putin.
Medvedev ordered a review of Khodorkovsky's conviction on the eve of Vladimir Putin's reelection to a third term as president in early March.

Medvedev may order whatever he wants, but he has absolutely no influence on the unlawful political imprisonment of Khodorkovsky. Putin is the man who decides about the imprisonment - and he has no intentions to set the prisoner free. Putin knows that Khodorkovsky´s release from prison would immediately accelerate popular opposition against the mafia regime he has created.

It is of course possible that Putin may have thought that the former Yukos leader is willing to admit some kind of guilt and/or promise not to speak about his unlawful imprisonment. But Mikhail Khodorkovsky is obviously not ready to accept that kind of shameful conditions.

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