Russian Tycoon Denied Plea For Freedom

“From what dusty basement did they dig up the venomous Stalinist spider that wrote this nonsense?””There can be no modernization until these basements are purged.”  Mr. Khodorkovsky, speaking from the glass-enclosed defendants’ cage.

In 2003 Mikhail Khodorkovsky, 47 years old, was Russia’s richest man. His oil empire, OAO Yukos, was the largest in Russia and the billionaire was on top of the world. That was before he made the mistake of challenging Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s dominance of Russian politics. Perhaps he was thinking of a “Russian Spring.”

Mr. Khodorkovsky now sits in a Russian prison charged with money laundering and tax fraud.  He was reminded again yesterday when his plea was denied in a Russian court, that capitalism and government, especially tyrannical governments, do not mix. When Khodorkovk was tried and convicted, OAO Yukos was broken up and sold to state controlled companies. OAO Yukos is now the crown in Vladimir Putin’s administration.

Khordorkovsk was charged and arrested in 2003 and, despite a strong legal defense, he will remain in prison until 2016. He plans to appeal.