Yabloko ruling on sentence of imprisoned Russian liberal leader – ‘No justice has been served in Russia’
LI News, August 15, 2013
The leader of Yabloko (LI Full Member), Sergei Mitrokhin, has condemned the Russian Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the imprisonment sentence of Maxim Petlin, leader of the party in the Sverdlovsk Region.
The trial and conviction of Petlin are widely believed to have been politically motivated due to Petlin’s anti-corruption activities in the region. Mitrokhin said: “The Supreme Court has reiterated that there has been no justice in Russia. A political order from the regional government is more important for judges than the rule of law.”
He has been convicted to a total of 3 years in prison. His lawyer, Sergei Kolosovsky, and Yabloko intend to appeal against this decision. Petlin’s imprisonment follows a number of other convictions against high-profile political opposition activists in Russia, as Putin’s regime continues to block democratic freedoms in the country.
LI Immediate Past President Lord Alderdice (LibDems – LI full-member) recently spoke out in the UK parliament in support of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a liberal activist who was sentenced back in 2003 for supporting an opposition party. In his speech, Alderdice stressed that “the Khordokovsky case is important because it has paved the way for politically motivated reprisals in Russia.” Lord Alderdice’s comments were later supported by fellow Liberal Democrat and European Member of Parliament, Sir Graham Watson, who slammed the Khordokovsky’s trial as “an abuse of the ruling elite.”