“To do less would be to reinforce fears that the process employed here is politically driven and meant exclusively to remove Mr. Enkhbayar from participation in the parliamentary election now underway.”
Feinstein's defense of Enkhbayar comes two days before a Senate panel is scheduled to vote on President Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Mongolia, Piper Anne Wind Campbell, giving Congress some leverage on the issue.
Here's her full statement from Monday morning:
“I am pleased President Enkhbayar has been released on bail so he can receive the medical treatment he so desperately needs. It is my hope he will be able to clear his name from the so-called corruption charges and continue his campaign for election to the parliament.
“Under the leadership of President Enkhbayar, Mongolia saw substantial democratic gains and the signing of a Millennium Challenge Corporation pact with the United States. It has been deeply troubling to follow the way in which he has been treated: summarily detained and unable to see his lawyers or family members in private on a regular basis. He has not been convicted of anything and the allegations against him have been deemed by one of his attorneys to be ‘insubstantial, stale and petty.’
“Mongolia is a nascent democracy, and for any democracy, due process and the rule of law are essential. In my view, the former president’s jailing was to prevent him from running for parliament, and I am hopeful that is he is well enough to continue his campaign.”