Support The Moscow Times!

'No Proof' Khodorkovsky Judge Pressured

Investigators said Tuesday that Judge Viktor Danilkin's former assistant Natalya Vasilyeva was unable to present convincing evidence that Danilkin was pressured by superiors in the trial of jailed former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Danilkin sentenced Khodorkovsky to 14 years in prison last December, and a couple of months later Vasilyeva described in detail what she said was pressure placed on the judge to change his ruling. Danilkin denied her claims.

Vasilyeva was questioned Tuesday by the Investigative Committee, which then issued a statement saying the inquiry showed her claims "were not confirmed by any objective evidence and were based only on guesses and suppositions."

Vasilyeva said she stood by her allegations, Interfax reported.

She also made public what she claims are the final three pages of Danilkin's draft verdict. In the documents, published on Ekho Moskvy radio's web site, Khodorkovsky is sentenced only to 10 years in prison and a line is drawn through the pages as if someone did not approve of the text.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.