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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khodorkovsky Thanks Supporters

MTPolice officers guarding the perimeter of the courthouse on Tuesday morning as road repair machinery stands idly by.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday thanked his supporters for sticking by him, as judges at Moscow's Meshchansky District Court buried themselves in the details of the verdict for a seventh day -- and road repairs outside came to a standstill.

"Thank you very much for your support!" Khodorkovsky said in a statement released Tuesday by his online press center, khodorkovsky.ru. "It's quite important to us. I'm convinced that only through the collective vindication of our rights -- and the rights of others -- will we be able to overcome the arbitrary actions by the criminal bureaucracy and build a normal society."

The brief thank-you note came as the usually packed courtroom half-emptied by Tuesday afternoon, with most reporters and defense lawyers choosing to skip the tedium of the verdict reading.

Even Khodorkovsky's parents, Boris and Marina, stayed only part of the day. The former Yukos CEO and his business partner Platon Lebedev spent most of the day absorbed in their notebooks -- Lebedev doing puzzles, Khodorkovsky drawing all kinds of ornaments.

Judge Irina Kolesnikova adjourned the trial until Wednesday morning, after she and two less senior female judges, who flank her in every session, neared a midpoint in the lengthy reading of the verdict, according to defense lawyers' estimates. After speeding up Monday to read up to 150 pages, the judges appeared to get bogged down Tuesday in the minutiae of the case.

Tuesday, like most of the previous six days' court sessions, brought little clarity as to what the actual sentences would be. Prosecutors have asked for a maximum 10 years in jail for both defendants on charges of embezzlement, fraud, and corporate and personal tax evasion.

"I suspect that the sentences will be lengthy in this trial," Yury Samodurov, director of the Sakharov Museum, told reporters on the street outside after visiting the courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutor Dmitry Shokhin, as he has previously, refused to comment on the reading of the verdict or to predict the outcome.

As the judges plowed through their reading, a large contingent of policemen remained outside, far outnumbering the small group of Khodorkovsky supporters reduced to holding their protest nearly 100 meters down the street -- out of sight of the courthouse.

As on Monday, the pavement opposite the courthouse on Kalachovskaya Ulitsa was fully occupied by heavy road repair machinery, accompanied by a handful of road repair workers. But while the road was closed to traffic, the machinery and the workers remained idle as long as the court was in session, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

In addition to the overt law-enforcement presence of about 500 uniformed policemen, court guards and court marshals, plainclothes men in dark suits skulked around outside the courthouse, taking pictures with video cameras of anything and everything happening in front of the building.