Gorbachev fear for democracy

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

Moscow - Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said yesterday that the acquittal of the last of the men accused of trying to overthrow him in 1991 was a bad sign for Russian democracy. 'If our courts and legal bodies react in this way to such events,' he said, 'it will be difficult for us to move towards a new, democratic Russia'.

Mr Gorbachev, 63, was commenting on the Russian Supreme Court's decision on Thursday to acquit the former Soviet ground forces commander, Valentin Varennikov on treason charges.

Mr Varennikov and other former defendants amnestied earlier say it is Mr Gorbachev who should go on trial for causing the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Reuter.

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