International human rights organisation Amnesty International has replied to an open letter (“letter of 45”) by a group of Russian intellegentsia who in March 2011 asked AI to declare the head of Yukos and the CEO of Menatep the prisoners of conscience. “Amnesty International considers a person to be a prisoner of conscience only if it can tell for sure that not a single accusation brought against him is justified,” the reply reads.

The human rights group stressed the fact that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev face charges of fraud and tax-evasion. It is the second time when Amnesty International refuses to declare Khodorkovsky and his fellow defendant the prisoners of conscience.

However, the organisation does not exclude the possibility it makes up its mind. “Amnesty International is currently scrutinising the court order in the second trial. We will reconsider our position in a view of ensuing appeal and according to our policy and principles”.

The Russian Mafia ( reference: Amnesty International has published 2011 report on human rights in the world. In the section about Russia the authors of the document paid special attention to the second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. “The independence of the Russian judiciary rises serious doubts. The charges brought against them are probably politically motivated”.