Khodorkovsky sends birthday greetings to Pussy Riot member

Former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky has sent birthday greetings to one of the jailed members of the Pussy Riot band, Yekaterina Samutsevich.

"I know from my own experience: although things are very difficult for you now, but the support of millions of people lifts the spirits, gives strength and, ultimately, helps to survive. Today you and your friends are supported by many, and many are in various countries, but first of all in Russia," Khodorkovsky said in his congratulatory letter, a text of which was posted on the website of his press center

"The Pussy Riot case has highlighted many trademark flaws of the current authorities which hamper normal life of the entire Russian society: disregard for the law, double standards in everything, cowardly and dependent judges - alas, you have to experience all that first hand," the former Yukos chief wrote.

"I want to hope that your jail experience will soon be over. The crooks who today are asserting themselves at your expense will be defeated. Which conclusions will you make? What will you bring once you are free? Now that the whole Russia is watching you, it is important not only for you. Try to be not only much smarter, but also much kinder than your persecutors," Khodorkovsky wrote.

The former Yukos chief is serving an aggregate prison sentence of 13 years imposed as a result of two verdicts. The court hearing the Pussy Riot case is due to deliver verdict on August 17. The prosecutor asked for a three-year term at a medium-security prison for each of the three arrested band members. Both Khodorkovsky, and the Pussy Riot members were named Prisoners of Conscience by Amnesty International.

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