Thursday, July 12, 2007

Berezovsky's lawyer says he "does not give a damn" about client

The lawyer appointed to Russian business tycoon Boris Berezovsky (pictured), after the latter decided to boycott his trial, has said in an interview with Russian daily Izvestia that he "does not give a damn" about the trial.

Boris Berezovsky is being charged in absentia with embezzling 214 million rubles from Russian air carrier Aeroflot at some point in the 1990-s and could face up to 10 years in prison. Mr. Berezovsky told his personal lawyers not to defend him and not to have anything to do with the trial which he terms as politicized.

The Russian government thus appointed Mr. Dudkov, 62 years of age, as a free lawyer for Mr. Berezovsky, who was granted political asylum in London a few years back. In his interview, Mr. Dudkov stated that the court appoints a lawyer closest to the proceedings, and Mr. Dudkov just happened to be nearby. He was surprised that a free lawyer was appointed for economic proceedings, as usually such an appointment is made for poor people and even "bums".

When asked about the likelihood of winning the trial, Mr. Dudkov referring to it as a Soviet-style proceeding laughed and said it "was impossible", although he quickly said he had not even read the trial material.

So yet another comical page is added to the history book of the Russian rule of law. It is strange then when Russian officials complain about Britain's recent remarks of a flawed Russian legal system.

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