Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Russia rejects criticism of oil tycoon's trial

Updated: 2010-12-29 09:16


Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

Russia rejects criticism of oil tycoon's trial
Jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev (R) stand in the defendants' cage before the start of a court session in Moscow December 28, 2010.[Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW - Russia's Foreign Ministry Tuesday criticized the attempts of several Western countries to exert pressure on the cases of former tycoons Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, saying the attempts were "unacceptable."

Related readings:
Russia rejects criticism of oil tycoon's trial Khodorkovsky found guilty in test for Russia
Russia rejects criticism of oil tycoon's trial Russia slashes Western pressure on tycoons' trial
Russia rejects criticism of oil tycoon's trial US 'deeply concerned' over Russia tycoons' verdict

"This issue falls under the jurisdiction of the judicial system of the Russian Federation. Attempts to put pressure on the court are unacceptable," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry also pointed out that those accused of tax evasion and money laundering in the US received life imprisonment.

"Any judgement about selective justice in Russia is groundless, " the Foreign Ministry said.

"We believe everybody ought to mind its own business, both domestically and internationally," the ministry added.

On Monday, a district judge in Moscow found both men guilty of embezzlement, large-scale oil theft and legalizing stolen property.

After the verdict was announced, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton said that the verdict would have negative effect on Russia's human rights record. She called the trial "a selective persecution."

The German foreign minister also called the verdict "a step back" for Russia.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to nine years of imprisonment in 2005 for tax evasion and fraud. Their sentences were later reduced to eight years.

In 2009 when their first trial had nearly drawn to an end, the two men were returned from the Siberian Chita region to Moscow to face a second trial.




Ear We Go

China and the world set to embrace the merciful, peaceful year of rabbit

Preview of the coming issue
Carrefour finds the going tough in China
Maid to Order

European Edition


Mysteries written in blood

Historical records and Caucasian features of locals suggest link with Roman Empire.

Winning Charm

Coastal Yantai banks on little things that matter to grow

New rules to hit property market

The State Council launched a new round of measures to rein in property prices.

Top 10 of 2010
China Daily in Europe
The Confucius connection