Chief Nikitin investigator dismissed

Publish date: November 15, 1997

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The head of the FSB team investigating the Nikitin case, Boris Utkin, was dismissed from this position last week. The rest of the investigating team was reshuffled.

On november 12, the head of the FSB investigative team on the Nikitin case, Boris Utkin, was dismissed from this position. Utkin was replaced by a lower-ranking FSB officer, the latter intending to retire shortly. The rest of the Nikitin-team was reshuffled.

Apparently, the reshuffling was prompted by the Prosecutor General’s decision concerning complaint from Nikitin’s defence counsel, concerning missing documents in the FSB case files. These embarrassing documents reveal an illegal FSB attempt to prevent the release of Aleksandr Nikitin from custodial confinement in December last year.

The factual grounds for the reshuffling is unclear. Apparently, nobody in the FSB wants to take responsibility for a "failing case", thus transferring it to an officer who plans to retire soon.