The court reading the complex verdict in the fraud and tax evasion trial of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky adjourned until Tuesday.
Today's reading largely reiterated the indictment against Khodorkovsky, which his defense team said almost certainly means he will be found guilty. Khodorkovski's lawyer Anton Drel said the court is so subservient to prosecutors that its verdict is parroting their indictment "right down to the spelling errors." Another Khodorkovski's lawyer Yuri Schmidt is sure, the verdict will be "guilty".
There's no reason to expect the verdict of "not guilty". It can easily be predicted that the court will bring the verdict of guilty in other charges as well: tax evasion, not entirely legal turnover of securities etc.
Has the prosecution described all crimes committed by the chieftains of Yukos and Group Menatep? It is certainly no – "no one can embrace the unembraceable", as a Russian classic said.
The more so as the case of Yukos comprises episodes which will never be heard in court and for which no one will be convicted.
It's quite hard to charge by law with "buying up" authorities and an attempt to privatize the truth, though everybody will agree that that's no good - even if the aim is the security and PR of a corporation.
But that is exactly what Yukos and Khodorkovsky did, having launched five years ago a full-scale campaign to cleanse and whitewash the oil empire. It's quite another matter by what means they were reaching this desired "transparency". Khodorkovsky once uttered his famous phrase: "it was we who started the corruption; it's up to us to finish it." It sounds noble, but in practice it looks like the wish of an old thief to retire and enjoy peacefully a fortune made by "painstaking work".
The "Open Russia" fund, now headed by the "suffered-for-democracy" Khodorkovsky, addicted almost all Russian human rights activist to the fund's grants, turning these supposedly public figures into Yukos's private advocates.
It deserves noting that the "Open Russia" keeps acting quite successfully to present day, even despite the obvious financial strait of Yukos. According to the open information, a significant part of the fund's budget is being filled up by the U.S. Department of State via its agent in exporting democracy all over the world – U.S. AID. In the Trustee Board of the "Open Russia" one can find such influential persons as the former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Lord Jacob Rothschild from the well-known bankers' clan.
The Open Russia keeps on accomplishing its mission in the vast expanses of Russia – building of "the civil society".
Within the precincts of "Yukos schools", opened by the "Open Russia", thousands of young people have learnt the right of the powerful (otherwise of the rich), sincerely believing that only what is good for them can be good for the country and the people.
Strictly speaking, the activity of the members of Khodorkovsky's empire is a mixture of economics, politics and crime. But there is no one to condemn them for it: neither human rights organizations, nor newspapers that devote whole issues to humble speeches of Khodorkovsky's lawyers and politicians from the team sponsored by him, and the only idea of such speeches is that Khodorkovsky is at least the conscience of the nation and an implacable fighter against corruption. But it is "the conscience of the nation" that bought up deputies in an attempt to privatize the State Duma. It's not politics - it's corruption. Politicians and even high ranking officials are ready to lobby interests of a corporation despite interests of the nation, only if they see sponsor's money. And it looks like everybody understands it, because the closer we are getting to the final, the weaker the voices are of those who support Khodorkovsky: every day it's getting harder and harder to retouch the criminal deeds of the "heroes" on trial.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.