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"...What I tell you three times is true" (Lewis Carroll, "Hunting of the Snark" ).

Natalya Vasilyeva: hero or betrayer?

Natalya Vasilyeva, assistant judge and press attaché of Khamovnichesky court, has unveiled conspiracy in the case of Khodorkovsky. She said in scandalous interview that the sentence to Khodorkovsky was not rendered by the Judge Viktor Danilkin in Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow but was written by the judges of the Moscow City Court. It is a reminder, that Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were sentenced to 14 years deprivation of freedom. Danilkin said it was a libel but added that he was not going to open a libel case. Who is Vasilyeva? A hero who was brave enough to make a stand against the system? Betrayer committed a bad crime, having let her boss down and discredited all the Russian system of law? Was it provocation or showing lack of determination?

From one point of view, Vasilyeva has launched a challenge against the system, which stated determination to bring it to life, defending this absurd. It is not a hard task to understand that a person making such statements like Vasilyeva did, is going to be in troubles. At its best, she loses her job. She will have to leave her place of judicial assistant anyway, in spite of affirmation of Khamovnichesky Court chairman that he was not going to fire her, although called her words libel. She is to make decision to go on working or not, - he said. It is not easy to work after you have blamed your boss in public. Moscow City Court press secretary Anna Usacheva supposed that Natalya Vasilyeva may retract her statement soon.

According to Lydmila Alexeeva, leader of Helsinki human right watch Group in Moscow said that Vasilyeva's statement "in a normal state with normal legal proceeding could lead to restatement of the case in connection with the new facts detected".

Human rights activists have addressed to General Prosecutor's office in Russia with a request to carry out an inspection in connection with Vasilyeva's statements. No reaction yet followed.

From another hand, there is difference between human right activists, talking about human rights abuses and corruption in the government and assistant judge and press attaché of the Court, member of the legal proceeding system, which is declared as fair and independent. The lawyers, as all professional groups have their Corporate Governance, moreover, the lawyer should understand better that anybody else, what can follow public blames in a serious crime. Punishment for libel in Russia can be three years in jail (section 129 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). If she knew everything about it (she should) that she did is to be called pretty heedlessness.

It is ridiculous, that Vasilyeva has been a lawyer since 2009, after she graduated from Non-state educational establishment "International Law Institute". Before she became a assistant judge and press attaché of Khamovnichesky court she worked as cook, shop assistant and specialists of marketing and sales department in Delta ltd. Maybe it was lack of professional experience and not heroism?

Whatever was the reason for Natalya Vasilyeva's action, it has changed much. The image of Russia's legal proceeding will never be the same. And it will have consequences for her. She is a hero of the last weeks. And the heroes (both good and bad, it doesn't matter) can not imagine the consequences.





www.ng.ru


www.newsru.com


www.bbc.co.uk


www.rian.ru

February 21, 2011 13:06

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