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Khodorkovsky Sentence "reflects The Weakness of Those in Authority" - Rock Star

Demonstrators with Posters of Mikhail KhodorkovskyMOSCOW. Dec 30 (Interfax) - Russian star rock singer Yury Shevchuk of the band DDT said Thursday's sentence on former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev "reflects the weakness of those in authority."
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"Of course not," Shevchuk answered when asked by Interfax whether he considered the sentence just.

The singer said the government had been putting "very powerful" pressure on the Moscow court that was trying Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.

The two men might be released on parole "if there is an amnesty, if in 2012 the new president declares an amnesty, especially one for economic crimes," Shevchuk said.

When Khodorkovsky and Lebedev "were in power, when they were oligarchs, they were bloodsuckers to me," the rock star said.

"Now I've revised my opinion - it's glaring injustice. Why aren't others in prison? I admire the conduct of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, their staunchness, their principles - they have been right at the bottom but that hasn't broken them. They were at the top of the world, then they fell but they have remained strong people, people who have, in a way, repented, which I can see from Khodorkovsky's letters. Generally speaking, these people have changed somehow, they've possibly gone through repentance for some sins that all of us had in the 90s. It's wicked to keep such people in prison, they would be able to do a lot of good for Russia," Shevchuk said.

The sentence "reflects the weakness of those in authority," he said, adding that "They have been unable to put the law above everything else, they have kept their fears and illusions."


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