Clinton Condemns Russian Oil Tycoon’s Conviction

MCT/Newscom

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today condemned the conviction of former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, saying the case “raises serious questions about selective prosecution — and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations.”

Khodorkovsky on Monday was found guilty of money laundering and theft of billions of dollars. He told Reuters he plans to repeal the verdict. Khodorkovsky is nearing the end of his current eight-year prison term.

Here is Clinton’s full statement:

Today’s conviction in the second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev on charges of embezzlement and money laundering raises serious questions about selective prosecution — and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations. This and similar cases have a negative impact on Russia’s reputation for fulfilling its international human rights obligations and improving its investment climate. We welcome President Medvedev’s modernization plans, but their fulfillment requires the development of a climate where due process and judicial independence are respected. We will monitor the appeals process.

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