Khodorkovsky case is top question put to Medvedev

AFP Photo / Dmitry Kostyukov
The jail sentence of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Russia’s judicial system are the top topics on which internet users are submitting questions to President Dmitry Medvedev ahead of the Davos Economic Forum.

­“Mr. President, recently a Moscow court handed down a verdict and sentence to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev which appears to impossibly contradict the first case against them,” wrote one of the users, jeremy.putley. “Your own advisors, Arkady Dvorkovich and Igor Yurgens, have both commented that the verdict damages Russia's investment environment, among many other critics. What do you intend to do to correct the situation?”

The questions can be asked on the forum’s special page The president will answer some of the shortlisted questions in his opening speech at the forum on January 26. He has already replied to some of the questions, particularly those on the Khodorkovsky case.

“Sir, you mistakenly combined two different topics – a legal prosecution of the suspects and the economical issue,” the presidential administration wrote on his behalf. “Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev have been recognized as guilty of the criminal offense. The final verdict of any judgment of the court is subject to be enforced, which is not a competence of either Mr. Yurgens or Mr. Dvorkovich.”

Another question, from the user taki.da, reads, “Will you pardon Khodorkovsky?” The answer is signed by the president himself, although the official title is omitted:

"There is no final court ruling for the Russian citizen Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and he has not been sentenced to the death penalty. So there are no grounds for considering mercy for the citizen in question.”

Internet users have also been asking about the overall state of the legal system in Russia and the Sergey Magnitsky case – whether those responsible for his death in prison will be held accountable. They are also traditionally interested in relations between the president and the premier, Vladimir Putin.