Northern fleet commander faces 4 years for sinking of K-159

Prosecutor Igor Murashov asked the Severomorsk Fleet Court yesterday to send Admiral Gennady Suchkov to a prison village, where convicts work and live in their own homes but cannot leave, and to forbid him from holding a high-ranking post for three years after his release.

The trial, which opened Jan. 12, has been dragging on for months. After repeated delays due to Suchkov’s health and appeals from relatives of the perished sailors, the trial was postponed again yesterday when Suchkov was hospitalised with heart problems, a court spokesman told Interfax. The Navy’s commander, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, told the court last month that Suchkov’s negligence had led to the sinking. Suchkov maintains his innocence. He has received the support of Murmansk Governor Yury Yevdokimov and 11 Navy captains, who, among others, signed an open letter to President Vladimir Putin on his behalf, Kommersant reported.