Alexei Kozlov found guilty yesterday

My article on this outrageous case in today’s edition of The Moscow News.

I was able to attend the court proceedings on Tuesday – and our correspondent, Yulia Ponomareva, was there for the verdict yesterday – and I can tell you that this case is as nightmarish as it seems. It goes beyond the personalities of Alexei Kozlov and Olga Romanova (some would argue that a wealthy realtor and his high-profile journalist wife are very dishonest and very manipulative, respectively) – it’s a warning to all of us. Once a case has reached a Moscow city criminal court, a conviction is practically inevitable, facts and arguments be damned.

If you wanted to argue that Jesus was actually a corrupt pedophile involved in the casino racket – you’d go through the Moscow criminal courts, after getting investigators, who traditionally have very strong links to judges, to initiate a criminal case for a reasonable fee. The judges themselves don’t have to be corrupt – all they have to do is maintain the status quo. No one needs to bribe them to do that.

That’s because people fear judges – and the judges want to be feared. Being feared – as opposed to respected – is a true mark of prestige around here. And yet more and more people are getting angrier and angrier about this. Even Alexei Kudrin, a strong ally of the establishment and a moderate in almost every sense, tweeted yesterday that the case against Kozlov was “unconvincing.”

2 thoughts on “Alexei Kozlov found guilty yesterday

  1. It’s all horrible, but I think this line was the most chilling for me. “In 2010, Slutzker was awarded sole custody of his children by the same Presnensky district court.”

  2. Yeah, he went on to sic his security guards on his ex-wife as well. It was a big scandal – everyone wrote about it at the time. They seemed to have reached some sort of agreement over the issue since then, I believe, having read about it.

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