Hold up... Didn’t the Soviet Union Collapse Already?
Russian Justice The Khodorkovsky Story From Oligarch to Martyr By Shannon Bona I apologize in advance for any mispronunciations of Russian words or names.
“I am far from being an ideal person, but I am a person with an idea. For me, as for anybody, it is hard to live in prison, and I do not want to die here…” -Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Early Life “We lived our lives in the Soviet Period, and we warned him that you cannot trust power in our country.” -Khodorkovsky’s Mother
Born June 26, 1963 in Moscow
Graduated from the Mendeleev Moscow Institute of Chemistry and Technology in 1986 - Chemical Engineering
.Less Exposed than others to Soviet Indoctrination
Rise to Power Deputy Head of Komsomol (The Communist Youth League) 1987 – Founded the Youth Center for Scientific and Technical Development 1989 – Founded Bank MENATEP 1997 – Group MENATEP decided to acquire the majority interest inYukos
Acquisition of YUKOS Made possible by… Yeltsin’s Economic Reforms: State assets Private Hands “Loans-for-Shares” “Rigged” Auctions Khodorkovksy and associates were sole bidders 78% of YUKOS acquired for only $309 million
YUKOS Petroleum Based Company - First “smart” office building in Russia - Self-Sufficient – latest technology - Russian Capitalism at its finest By 2002 YUKOS was worth 15 billion
A Turn for the Worse….Criminal Allegations “A Thief should sit in jail” -Putin Putin has brought criminal charges upon Khodorkovsky twice… 1) Accused of tax evasion and fraud charges 2) Between 1998 – 2003 Khodorkovsky and his business partner Lebedev were suspected of stealing “every drop of Yukos oil” There is even rumor of murder….
The Trial On Oct. 25, 2003 Khodorvosky was arrested at gunpoint, marking the beginning of a extensive, tumultuous “legal” process… “Our Court is the most humane court in the World” -Putin
“Despite the obvious lack of evidence for my guilt, and numerous witnesses having testified that I was not involved in committing any crime, this court decided to send me to prison, and I am aware that my verdict was decided in the Kremlin” -Khodorkovsky
May 16, 2005 – Sentenced to 9 years in prison Later reduced to 8 years
June 30, 2008 - new charges bring forth a second trial
Funds liberal opposition groups and independent media organizations
Khodorkovsky lived no lavish lifestyle, even despite his 8 billion dollar net worth.
“The last years before the arrest, I was actively engaged in civic activity focused at fighting for civil liberties: I funded the opposition, supported the independent mass media, and helped in the work of teaching youth how to be politically informed.” -Khodorkovsky
Economic Impact “Putin cares about foreign investors; he just doesn’t care about them enough to allow one oligarch to use his ill-gotten gains to hijack the state for his own economic purposes” -William Bower Veteran Money Manager in Moscow “The main task for my country is to not miss the historic ‘window of opportunity’ for an orderly liberalization, the provision of political freedoms to the people and the creation of the institutions of a democratic state and a civil society.” -Khodorkovsky
The Lingering Hope “Jail changed the means, but not the goal. The situation is such that my line of behavior in prison no longer carriers potential threats for my friends, family and colleagues. For myself I am not afraid. And life without a goal – is not life at all.” -Khodorkovsky
As of June 10, 2011, Khodorkovsky has been sent to an “undisclosed” prison
While not finding enough proof to identify his case as political motivated, The European Court of Human Rights ordered Moscow to pay $35,300 in reparations to Khodorkovksy.
The thought of new charges have not been dismissed.
For further reading check out Khodorkovsky Unabridged…posted in The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303714704576385240381210756.html?KEYWORDS=khodorkovsky+unabridged
“…But if I Have to, I will have no hesitation. What I believe is worth dying for. I think I have shown this. -Mikhail Khodorkovksy
Works Sited "BBC News - Mikhail Khodorkovsky Case: European Court Faults Russia." BBC - Homepage. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13600198>. "BBC News - Mikhail Khodorkovsky 'sent to Secret Prison'" BBC - Homepage. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13735507>. "Business in Russia: After Yukos | The Economist." The Economist - World News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://www.economist.com/node/9167397>. Jolis, By Anne. "Anne Jolis: Khodorkovsky Heads Back to Siberia - WSJ.com." Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - Wsj.com. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303714704576385552112075440.html>.
"The Khodorkovsky Case: The Tycoon and the President | The Economist." The Economist - World News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://www.economist.com/node/3983898>. "Khodorkovsky Unabridged." Wall Street Journal. 14 June 2011. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303714704576385240381210756.html>. "Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Trial: Justice Delayed | The Economist." The Economist - World News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2010/12/mikhail_khodorkovskys_trial>. "Moscow Court Upholds Khodorkovsky Conviction - WSJ.com." Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - Wsj.com. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576343100298677870.html>.
Nocera, Joe. "Russian Justice." The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 May 2011. Web. 17 June 2011. O'Brien, Timothy L., and Steven Lee Myers. "The Russia Hous, After the Oligarchs." The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 June 2005. Web. 17 June 2011.