Khodorkovsky is no liberal reformist

The Russian billionaire who headed their biggest oil company was sentenced to nine years for fraud and tax evasion. Many are screaming it was a kangaroo court with a foregone conclusion, yet I’ve seen no reports that suggest he was actually innocent.

So, a billionaire oligarch amassed a huge fortune and political power, enough to challenge the Kremlin and was readying plans to sell part of the company to ExxonMobil. Putin found this unacceptable and cracked down. Was it selective prosecution? Yes? Was Khodorkovsky guilty? Again, it appears he certainly was.

Coverage is so biased here. The LA Times ran a front page story wringing their hands at how horrible it was. However, buried on page 9, they say “In a nation where resentment against ultra-wealthy businessmen runs high, there has been little popular support for the entrepreneur” yet the biggest photo they run (in the print edition) is of a handful of his supporters demonstrating.

Then there’s this –

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil magnate jailed by a Moscow court for nine years for fraud and tax evasion, was the target of an undercover operation by America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which believed he was involved in a huge money-laundering operation by the Russian mafia and ex-KGB officers.

America has condemned the prosecution of Khodorkovsky, accusing Russia of ‘back-sliding’ on democracy, but the undercover CIA operation against him suggests the US government is being hypocritical because it had also regarded him with great suspicion.

Reuters says “Khodorkovsky verdict makes him liberal icon.” However liberals should find a better icon than this thug who challenged a ruler and lost. “If you shoot at a king, do not wound him.” Khodorkovsky tried and missed.