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Top Russian judge warns of weak judiciary, dictatorship

[JURIST] Russia's most senior judge has predicted that the Kremlin's growing power will eventually result in a dictatorship if it remains unchecked by the country's judiciary. Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation [Russian Information Network backgrounder] Valery Zorkin made his comments in a Reuters interview following criticism that the country's judiciary is weak, incompetent, and willing to accommodate the Kremlin's agenda. The recent conviction of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [advocacy profile; JURIST news archive] for tax fraud [JURIST report] has lately deepened these perceptions among the public. Zorkin couched his criticism with an understanding of the need for a strong and capable executive branch, but said that such power should not be "an aim in itself." Reuters has more.

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