11 Jan 2019 09:53

Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya says she wants to prove her innocence in U.S. court

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) - Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has been charged with obstructing justice in the United States, says she stands ready to defend her innocence in a U.S. court but will not risk coming to the U.S. in order not to become a hostage there.

"A web of lies about me has been created in the U.S. through the efforts of Willian Browder himself, and I simply have no right to face the danger of being taken hostage. Another problem about remote access is to find the lawyer you could trust your fate to. And I am now making this choice not only for my own sake, but also for the sake of my family, my four children and their future," Veselnitskaya said in an interview with Interfax.

The lawyer also said she has a good knowledge of the U.S. judicial system and counts on its objectivity and impartiality.

"Even though the indictment itself is empty, and there is nothing in it I can comment upon, because it contains no information that can be analyzed, I saw for myself what true American court proceedings look like. We will fight our case," she said.

When asked what she is expecting from the U.S. judicial system, Veselnitskaya said: "Objectivity, legality. I saw this for myself during the proceedings in the Prevezon [Holdings] case. And as far as the jurors - citizens of the U.S. - are concerned, [I am expecting from them] loyalty to American values and the high standard of the presumption of innocence."

"Of course, one should not idealize the U.S. judicial system. It has its drawbacks, above all the cost of lawyers' services, because I cannot represent myself," she said.

Although, "all this is also due in no small part to a judge's political views and personal attitude," she said.

Veselnitskaya said she is a "court official to the core, and dedicated a large part of her professional life to the judicial system."

"I deemed and still deem it the highest honor and a gift of the destiny that I had the opportunity to work in an American court, see for myself how the court assesses evidence, and also work with outstanding American lawyers. It was an incredible experience," she said.