Posts Tagged ‘huffngtopn post’

February 2012

Can Enlightenment Come to Russia?

Huffington Post

History is replete with tales of those whose enlightened view of the world became their ultimate undoing. It happened in the early 1400s to John Wycliffe who disregarded papal opposition and translated the Bible into the language of ordinary Englishmen. Wycliffe died of a stroke before he could be charged with heresy and burned at the stake, but that did not prevent a trial and conviction years later that resulted in his unearthed bones being cast into the River Swift. Unfortunately, two similar tales are playing out today in modern Russia, and we can only hope that the endings will be vastly different.

The first tale resurrected just last week when we learned that the Russian Ministry of Interior intends to put on trial the “bones” of Sergei Magnitsky, who suspiciously died in custody two years ago after he testified that Ministry officials embezzled $230 million dollars. This bizarre saga will break new ground as the first posthumous prosecution in Russian legal history. For those interested in rule of law, this is a particularly outrageous example of the “legal nihilism” that President Medvedev at first decried but has since accepted.

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