I know I recently wrote that his wife is someone we should celebrate – and I stand by that – but his overall situation fills me with dread. It’s the story of a man with every piece of evidence on his side – and yet he was in prison and is most likely going back to prison. All because the feudal Moscow City court system needs to keep the balance of power in check. We all have to remember that bureaucracy is bigger than human beings. The sacred right of the bureaucrats to destroy lives and break apart families must be preserved. Otherwise, it will be just like 1917 again – and Russia doesn’t need another bloody revolution!
People in Moscow kid themselves when they argue that Kozlov’s case is special, because he’s a businessman. “I don’t have a business, so it couldn’t happen to me!” Sorry, no, it can. It can happen to anyone who has become, for any reason, “inconvenient.” Or to anyone who has the cops set upon them for any reason (there is a famous story of a taxi driver arrested after a brawl – cops falsified testimony and evidence after his family couldn’t bribe them quickly enough. It was all over the news in Russia – but the Moscow City court system prevailed. The people at the top of that system can never lose face – that’s why it prevails).
There is no real presumption of evidence within the courts. The criminal justice system presents a kind of meat-grinder, which exists solely to sustain and serve private interests – whether getting rid of a former business partner, or simply ticking a box (as in, when President Medvedev declared war on pedophilia, everyone suddenly started rounding up pedophiles – with or without evidence). It’s not tied to any principles or laws – laws themselves being contradictory and poorly written at times. The people who preside over it are mostly middle-aged women, deeply conscious of how prestigious their jobs are, and very eager to retain this prestige, which is at least partly derived from the terrorizing effect the courts have on the populace. The only saving grace of this system is the fact that it cannot sentence people to death – the moratorium on the death penalty stands.
Though “getting rid” of someone in prison is easy enough. “Unfortunate accidents” and “suicides” happen with some regularity.