I was incensed to learn about the monstrous verdict of a Russian court on two former employees of Bank of Moscow, Alla Averina and Konstantin Salnikov. That these people were found guilty of charges against them and that they were given real prison terms is another example of blatant abuse of justice and common sense that prevails in Russian legal system. I am convinced that both the investigators and the court are well aware of the political undercurrent in the case against Averina and Salnikov. Nevertheless within this drummed up case they were first sent to court as the accused, and then they have been put behind bars.
It is clear that persecution mounted against me and my colleagues is the only reason why the former employees of Bank of Moscow have been sent to prison. Russian law enforcement agencies are once again following a well trotted path of least or no resistance by using the tame Russian courts to obtain unopposed pre-ordered court decisions and take hostages. In essence, these people are just other innocent victims of a cannibalistic system where human rights, liberties and even lives have no meaning or value.
I repeat that today’s verdict in respect to Averina and Salnikov is an unlawful and inhumane act. I am with them and with their families in my thoughts, and will do everything possible within the framework of law and of human ethics to lend them my support in these difficult times.