Nikitin lawyer Yuri Schmidt &quot,Best of the year&quot,

Yuri Schmidt took up the case of Alexander Nikitin upon the latter’s arrest in February 1996, and has been leader of the defence council since then. Schmidt is famous for his dissident activities in the former Soviet Union and as a human rights activist.

— Although the Nikitin case was not specifically mentioned at the ceremony, Yuri Schmidt received a real storm of applause and everybody knew for what, says Boris Pustyntsev, leader of St. Petersburg human rights organisation Citizens’ Watch.

The ceremony was attended by – among others – vice prime minister of Russia Anatoly Chubais, General Procurator of the Russian Federation Yuri Skuratov and the mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov.