MOSCOW – Following the arrest of frequent Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny, skeptics have been assured that the upcoming trial will be fair and impartial, according to newly-appointed head judge Vladimir Rutin.
“I want to assure the international community that we follow the law in Russia,” said Rutin, adjusting his suspiciously-oversized moustache.
Witnesses report the police prevented Navalny’s lawyer from accompanying him to jail, before then turning the police station into an impromptu courtroom. Still, Head Judge Rutin assuaged apprehension following the apparent poisoning attempt on Navalny’s life which he barely survived.
“I, totally regular Russian citizen Vladimir Rutin, personally guarantee the outcome of this trial will be to the satisfaction of all prosecutors involved. And once I approve the defending lawyers, they too shall be satisfied with the proceedings,” said Rutin.
Many questions have been raised about the mysterious new head judge whose name has not appeared in any prior trials or in any registry of Russian judges. His publicly accessible documentation simply reads: “Vladimir Rutin, age 68, Really Good Judge since 2021”. When questioned over his strong resemblance to Russian president Putin, he replied, “What? No, that is flattering. Putin is a very handsome, powerful man. Also Vladimir is a common name and I am just a humble trial-deciding guy. Hm? Yes, ‘judge’, that’s the word.”
“While we must obviously ensure that this trial is above board,” said Rutin, “I have to admit it does not speak well of the defendant that he seems to be immune to poisoning, like some kind of wizard.” Rutin added moments later, “Uh, *alleged* poisoning, of course.”