Britain 'deeply concerned' by Khodorkovsky trial

30th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain said Thursday it was "deeply concerned" by the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, saying it had implications for international confidence in Russian justice.

Russia ordered the country's former richest man to remain in prison for six more years, in a dramatic climax to his second trial that sparked accusations of political interference.

"I am deeply concerned by the implications of this case concerning Mikhail Khodorkovsky for confidence in how the law is applied in Russia," Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

"The UK calls on Russia to respect the principles of justice and apply the rule of law in a non-discriminatory and proportional way.

"In the absence of this the UK and much of the international community will regard such a trial as a retrograde step."

Found guilty of money-laundering and embezzlement, Khodorkovsky will stay in jail until 2017, removing a key opponent of president turned Prime Minister Vladimir Putin from the political scene for years to come.

© 2010 AFP

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