2 Nov 2010 18:15

Right-wing opposition expresses solidarity with Khodorkovsky

MOSCOW. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Russian ex-prime minister and leader of the Russian People's Democratic Union Mikhail Kasyanov has said that his assessment of what is going on in the country coincides with what ex-Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in his last speech at the trial.

"He told citizens that we are losing Russia. Here our political position coincides with Mikhail Khodorkovsky's," Kasyanov told journalists.

"Khodorkovsky has remained astonishingly brave in prison over the past seven years," he said.

"I continue to maintain that he is not guilty. Nevertheless, the hope of the judge issuing a fair verdict is minimal. There must be pressure on the head of the judiciary. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have been locked up for seven years without any guilt and unfortunately, all things considered, may spend another several years in prison," Kasyanov said.

"The judge might reduce the term from 14 to 12-13 years for the sake of imitating justice, but in effect this is an abuse of justice and common sense," he said.

Yabloko Party leader Sergei Mitrokhin also agreed with the assessments given by ex-Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky in his last speech at the trial.

"His speech was very strong, and he is totally right that he was made a scapegoat. At the same time, many business representatives did no less wrong but today they are prospering," Mitrokhin told Interfax.

"Justice is being applied to Khodorkovsky in a selective and therefore non-objective and biased manner, and the oddities that occurred during the trial means a fair judgment is unlikely," he said.

Co-chairman of The Right Cause Party Leonid Gozman said for his part, commenting to Interfax on Khodorkovsky's last word that, "the moral victory of Khodorkovsky and the moral defeat of those who judge him are absolutely obvious, no matter what the verdict is."

"And because of what happened at the trial part of society has united against the authorities and one can observe the ruling elite in crisis," Gozman said.