From Izvestya, June 8, 1996.

Izvestya, June 8, 1996.

(St. Petersburg) Izvestya correspondent Natalya Timachova succeeded in getting an appointment with one of the investigators at the St. Petersburg branch of the FSB, which is conducting the investigation against Alexandr Nikitin (the interviewee requested that his name not be mentioned).

– On June 10 the first hearing in the Nikitin case truly will be conducted at the courtroom in the Dzerzchinsky region of the city, he stated. – However, this trial will review the question of the legality of the measures taken (i.e. the custodial detainment) against the defendant. We have been requested by the court to provide the investigation documents, which have been transferred for perusal at the court. But not all of it, as we are not compelled to reveal all documents pertaining to the investigation. Whether the civilian township court has the right to demand access to these documents is a matter of dispute. Cases concerning espionage are to be handled by military courts (as has indeed been the order of things up to now). The Russian Criminal Code does provide for this kind of functionality within a civilian court also, but only at a higher level within city or county courts.

If the Dzerzchinsky court makes a decision in favour of Nikitin, he will be released from imprisonment on the spot, in the court room. But the investigation in the Nikitin case continues and will continue on the same tracks as before, as we are going to reveal all relevant circumstances. Also, there is a possibility of an enlarged accusation being made against Nikitin, in addition to charges being brought against other persons – at a minimum against one other person. FSB has received several tenths of guarantees for Nikitin from different organisations and persons. Obviously, a lot of people have taken an interest in keeping the heat up on this case.