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Putin aide says Khodorkovsky ruling harmed Russia

[JURIST] Maverick Andrei Illarionov [official website], a top economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Thursday that the recent conviction of oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive] for fraud and tax evasion had caused Russia major harm and had dramatically changed the country's political landscape. While the Kremlin denies any political motive in the arrest, trial and 9-year sentence of Khodorkovsky and his partner [JURIST report], critics view the process as an attempt to crush an independent voice. After expressing concerns about the trial, free speech, and Russian policy earlier this year Illarinov was stripped of his G8 duties [JURIST report], and it is unclear what, if any, the consequences of his latest comments might be. Of the Khodorkovsky trial itself Illarinov said, “I think the court showed deep incompetence from the economic and judicial points of view. I was shocked by the low level of people representing the state . . . I felt a deep sense of shame for a state that for some reason had to be represented in such a way.” MosNews has more.

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