Michael Khodorkovski shares a cell with other 15 prisoners. It is a difficult situation, especially after the week-long hunger strike, which recently finished. His life is not endangered but it is about something serious, especially because after the hunger strike he no longer received foodstuff from his family. Food quality in prison is as terrible as the conditions of its buildings.
The conditions in which prisoners are held is worthy of the Third World. Most of the prisoners smoke and he does not. Smoke remains in the cell. As a lawyer I am committed and I cannot tell them anything about the financial situation of Khodorkovski; the fees required by the process are very high and the government tries to ruin that.
After the sentence we filed the appeal. That is why he has the possibility of standing for the legislative elections, because he has not been sentenced. If he is sentenced on appeal, then it would be impossible. Therefore, he will try to put himself forward as a candidate but the Kremlin will try to prevent him from doing that, which is conflicting to the law. The appeal process will start on September 14 and will last 3 or 4 days. We are convinced we are going to lose. He will be then sentenced and no longer be a candidate.
We are not ready. We have not had enough time to prepare ourselves. Given the importance of the investigation, we should have had months to prepare ourselves. However, we only have a few weeks in our favour. No one can read the file thoroughly. This is valid for the court and the lawyers.
There is also a supreme authority, but we are not sure whether our request will be accepted, but anyway, this will not affect his electoral projects. The sentence will be enforced immediately this week. When we announced his candidacy, we did not think things were going to turn out like this. We were not expecting the date to be September 14. We did not withdraw the candidacy. Even when Khodorkovski were unable to participate, he would represent a strong opposition, contrary to multiple and false small opposition parties in Russia that have been created by the Kremlin to pretend a real opposition.
We have other plans of which I cannot say anything, otherwise those who oppose our project will be informed. They will be as surprised as yourselves. All I can say is that we are determined to appeal. We also want to appear before the Human Rights Supreme Court of Strasbourg. Michael Khodorkovski will not give up and you will hear of him again soon.

Der Spiegel (Germany)
Circulation: 1 100 000 copies. An important investigation magazine issued for the first time in 1947, and source of multiple political scandals. It is known for its own journalistic slang and also issues four special editions yearly. The website of the Spiegel is the most successful online magazine in Germany.

Wir werden die Berufung hundertprozentig verlieren″, by Robert R. Amsterdam, Der Spiegel, September 14, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.