Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Amsterdam Blasts Schroeder

MosNews reports that Robert Amsterdam, attorney to Mikhail Khodorkovsky,

has criticized a recent remark by former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and said that it was a part of a “well funded campaign of lies and distortion aimed at undermining Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s integrity”.

“Mr. Schroeder’s attempts to introduce humor to the plight of a man who is illegally imprisoned in the Russian gulag represents the most obscene of insults,” Amsterdam was quoted as saying by PR Newswire.

According to press reports in Germany this month, Mr. Schroeder made the following comments in regards to Russia and Mr. Khodorkovsky: “We nick tax evaders as well. However, we do not have Siberia at our disposal.”

Update: The complete PR Newswire press release can be read here. The report includes an interesting statement from Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger of Germany's FDP (Free Democrat Party), who was formerly German Minister of Justice:

"I explicitly appreciate the strong criticism of the attorney of Mr. Khodorkovsky, Robert Amsterdam, concerning the behavior of former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. In the past Mr. Schroeder had closed his eyes regarding the massive lack of rule of law and human rights in contemporary Russia. Now he damages the democratic development of Russia by mocking and twitting victims of the insufficient rule of law such as Mr. Khodorkovsky."

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