Moscow court delays hearing of Adamov case until December 11th

Publish date: December 7, 2006

A Moscow court has postponed until December 11 a hearing in the case of Russia's ex-nuclear power minister, charged with embezzlement and abuse of office, a lawyer said on December 5th.

On November 24, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court rejected an appeal by Yevgeny Adamov’s defence to send his case back to the Prosecutor General’s Office to correct shortcomings in the investigation and clarify the charges, and scheduled a hearing for December 5th.

«Lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov, who represents the interests of a co-defendant in the case, Vyacheslav Pismennyi, is currently on a business trip,» Adamov’s lawyer Genry Reznik said.

Adamov, 67, has been accused of leading an organized criminal group that inflicted damage worth over 3 billion rubles (about $110 million) to the Russian budget, enterprises and organizations.

Adamov is being prosecuted along with two co-defendants, Pismennyi, former director of the Troitsky research centre, and Revmir Freishut, former director of TechSnabExport.

The trial has already been adjourned twice — on October 26th and November 8th — because Adamov’s lawyers did not appear in court, and one of the defendants was in the hospital.

Adamov was originally arrested in Switzerland in May 2005 at the request of the United States, where authorities accuse him of misappropriating $9 million given to Russia for nuclear safety projects. Had he been convicted in the US, Adamov would have faced 60 years in prison.

He was extradited to Russia in early 2006 to face charges but was released by the Russian Supreme Court July 21, after a total of 15 months in prison, to await trial.

Adamov, who served from 1998 to 2001 as Russia’s nuclear power minister, said in October he will insist on a trial in a US court, although the US. authorities have accused him of a crime they said was committed in Russia.

On October 16th, the Moscow City Court cancelled the Zamoskvoretsky District Court’s earlier decision to send Adamov’s case back to the Prosecutor General’s Office for a clarification of the charges.

The city court thereby upheld an appeal by prosecutors against the district court decision. Prosecutors demanded that the case should instead be sent for retrial in the district court.

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