Khodorkovsky verdict is a 'step backward' for Russia, says German foreign minister
Rahvusvahelised uudised 27 Dec 2010  EWR
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Western powers have slammed a Moscow court's conviction of billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of oil theft. They see the verdict as casting doubt on President Dmitry Medvedev's pledges to modernize Russia.

Germany and other Western countries have condemned the guilty verdict pronounced by a Russian court against jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on new fraud charges.

In a statement, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called the verdict "a step backward" for Russia. Westerwelle said that the way the trial was conducted was "very dubious" and called on Russia to "stand up for the rule of law, democracy and human rights."

German Human Rights Commissioner Markus Loening found even stronger words to condemn the verdict, telling the dpa news agency that he was "outraged."

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