Russia: Abuse of State Authority in the Russian Federation

In the spring of 2003, the Kremlin decided that Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s vision and actions in favour of a vibrant civil society, and market-based competition in the energy sector, were incompatible with its ideology and political goals. Mr Khodorkovsky’s subsequent arrest, show trial and disproportionate sentence on trumped-up charges were used as a legal pretext to incarcerate him in a Siberian prison camp. Bogus and exorbitant tax assessments were used as a cover to steal the prime asset of Yukos – Russia’s most successful energy company, headed by Mr Khodorkovsky. The Kremlin has brought new charges against Mr Khodorkovsky for reasons that have nothing to do with justice, a legitimate concern for upholding Russian law, or punishing criminal behaviour.

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