openDemocracy: Mikhail Khodorkovsky: final trial speech

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: final trial speech | openDemocracy

oDR is proud to publish Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s final speech at his trial, which belongs in the tradition of great statements. It is a fine and eloquent summary of the larger problem Russia faces of being unable to modernize because of its governance. The court is expected to start pronouncing the verdict on Khodorkovsky on December 15.


Respected Court!

Today is for me one more opportunity to look back at the past. I remember October 2003. My last day of freedom. Several weeks after my arrest, I was informed that President Putin had decided that I was going to have to “sup prison gruel” for 8 years. Back then this was hard to believe.


I want an independent judiciary to become a reality and the norm in my country. I want the phrase born in Soviet times, about “the most just court system in the world”, to stop sounding as ironic today as it did in those days. I do not want us to leave as an inheritance for our children and grandchildren the very dangerous symbols of totalitarianism.




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