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The age of innocence

In the UK we have knife amnesties to stop dangerous weapons getting on to the streets. In Russia they have prosecution amnesties allowing dangerous architects back on to them. Yesterday Moscow’s prosecutor office decided to close the criminal case against 68-year-old Nodar Kancheli – the designer of two buildings which collapsed under heavy snow killing a total of 85 people – because of his age. The architect had maintained his innocence throughout the investigations into the disasters, despite the fact that they all pointed towards his responsibility for the disasters (see AJplus 05/04/05 and 24/02/06). Now that Kancheli has been handed this unexpected lifeline he is seizing it with both hands. Hours after the news about the prosecution, the poacher turned gamekeeper by announcing on local radio that next week’s Madonna concert at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium (built in 1956) could literally bring the house down. I guess he’s the expert….

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