Monday, February 14, 2011

Court Press Secretary: Judge Danilkin Did Not Author Khodorkovsky Sentence

Natalia Vasilieva, a judicial assistant and the Press Secretary for the Khamovnichesky Court, gave an interview to online news service, stating that Judge Danilkin, the Khamovnichesky Court Chairman, was not the author of the sentence for Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev which Danilkin announced in December 2010. According to Vasilieva, the sentence was written by judges of the upper Moscow City Court, and imposed on Danilkin against his will. Vasilieva stated that days before the sentence was announced, Danilkin was called to the Moscow City Court to meet with some high-ranking official (higher than the Moscow City Court Chairperson), and he returned from the meeting in a distressed state of mind. Vasilieva says that Danilkin began to write his own sentence, but his superiors sent him a replacement after apparently finding Danilkin’s version unsatisfactory. Allegedly, the last portion of the sentence containing the prison terms (both defendants were sentenced to 13.5 years) was delivered to Danilkin after he had already begun to announce the sentence.  Vasilieva said the reason for her revelations was her disappointment in the Russian judicial system, and she further told the interviewer that she was prepared to be fired from the Khamovnichesky Court as a result. (video)

UPDATE: Danilkin: Vasilieva's satatement is criminal defamation

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