A blog dedicated to investigating events as they occur in Judea and Samaria, in Israel and in the world, and as they relate to global powers and/or to the Israeli government, public figures, etc. It is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the headlines; and in so doing, it strives to do its part in saving Judea and Samaria, and by extension, Israel and the Jewish People, from utter destruction at the hands of its many external and internal enemies.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Justice, Israeli style: I guess there are other countries following the same pattern.Left-wing controlled Israel has learned well from its communist precursors!

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Russian court turns down Khodorkovsky parole bid
Friday August 22, 7:46 am ET
By Catrina Stewart, Associated Press Writer

Russian court rejects parole for jailed oil tycoon Khodorkovsky
CHITA, Russia (AP) -- A Russian court rejected jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's request for parole on Friday, ordering him to serve out the remainder of his sentence in a ruling his lawyer called politically motivated.

Khodorkovsky -- the former head of Yukos oil company, and once Russia's richest man -- was sentenced to prison for eight years in 2005 on charges of tax evasion and fraud in what Kremlin critics slammed as a flawed trial.

"Prisoner Khodorkovsky does not deserve conditional early release," Judge Igor Faliliyev said at the Ingodinsky regional court in the Siberian city of Chita, citing as reasons his refusal to take part in professional training in sewing while in prison, and an alleged misdemeanor dating back to October.

Khodorkovsky showed little surprise at the decision, appearing calm as the judge finished speaking. As he was hustled out of the courtroom by guards, he said Russia's "legal system will not be reformed anytime soon."

Detained since 2003, Khodorkovsky has served more than half of his sentence and has been eligible for parole for the past 10 months.

Most of that sentence has been served in the remote Chita region, nearly 4,000 miles east of Moscow. In December 2006, he was moved from a prison camp to a pretrial detention center in the city after new charges were brought against him and his business associate Platon Lebedev.

The prosecution of the oligarch was widely seen as an attempt to silence a Kremlin opponent and consolidate control over Russia's strategic energy sector.

The charges and subsequent demand for huge back taxes led to the effective renationalization of Yukos, which was taken over by the state oil company Rosneft.

Prosecutor Andrei Federov told the court that Khodorkovsky should serve out his full sentence, because he had not repented his crimes. Prison officials also present at the hearing said that Khodorkovsky had flouted prison rules on several occasions.

In particular, he is accused of failing to hold his hands behind his back during a jail walk last October. But in a surprise revelation to a Russian magazine earlier this year, cellmate Igor Gnezdilov said he had been blackmailed by the guards into making a false allegation against Khodorkovsky.

Vadim Klyuvgant, lawyer for the defense, said after the hearing that the decision to deny the former billionaire parole was politically motivated and would be appealed within the 10 days allowed by the court.

Speaking to reporters, he said the ruling was handed down "by a court that is not free and is heavily influenced by those who are simply scared of freeing Mikhail Khodorkovsky."

"There's no limit to this fantasy," he said.

Khodorkovsky's parole hearing was seen as a test of new President Dmitry Medvedev's commitment to reforming the judiciary and combating what the Russian leader called "legal nihilism" in Russia.

But the defense was philosophical in defeat, pointing to the enormous task facing officials in overhauling the legal system, often criticized for its perceived lack of independence.

"It won't happen immediately," Klyuvgant said. This kind of reform "requires hard work and a very strong will."

Khodorkovsky will have another shot at parole in six months' time, Klyuvgant said, if the appeal fails.

Even if the judge had granted parole, Khodorkovsky would not have walked free. He is in pretrial detention on new charges brought against him and Lebedev in June. His pretrial detention has been extended to Nov. 2.

Associated Press Writer Maria Danilova contributed to this report from Moscow.

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