Khodorkovsky sentence highlights 'abusive' Russia: US

30th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The United States decried Russia's extended sentence for jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky as an "abusive use" of the legal system on Thursday and warned that the country's economy will stagnate without an independent judiciary.

"We remain concerned by the allegations of serious due process violations, and what appears to be an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends, particularly now that Khodorkovsky and (co-accused Platon) Lebedev have been sentenced to the maximum penalty," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"Simply put, the Russian government cannot nurture a modern economy without also developing an independent judiciary that serves as an instrument for furthering economic growth, ensuring equal treatment under the law, and advancing justice in a predictable and fair way," Toner said.

© 2010 AFP

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