Rachel Polonsky says Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky is a prisoner of conscience, and his show trial stands as an indictment of the country’s criminal justice systemMoscow
In an iron cage in Hall 56 of the Meshchansky Court, the former chief executive of Yukos sits on his woollen hat, an anorak stuffed into the bars beside him. As his trial enters its 11th month, it is winter still in Moscow. The lumpen guard beside the cage fiddles with a pair of handcuffs, trying to stay awake. On the first row of visitors’ benches, the elderly mother of the accused clasps her shawl, holding her son in a steady gaze. Emerging from her handbag is a small green book called Democracy. Scratched in biro on the back of the bench are the words ‘Free MBK’.