FSB reprimanded on missing documents

Publish date: November 17, 1997

Written by: Igor Kudrik

In a ruling of November 6, the Russian Prosecutor General gives full credit to the views of Aleksandr Nikitin and his lawyer, regarding the FSB’s attempt to alter legal documents during the conclusion of the investigation on September 17. Subsequent to the ruling, Nikitin has now accepted the case file for review by the defense.

On September 17, Aleksandr Nikitin refused to accept the FSB`s attempt at finalising the investigations against him, on the grounds that important documents were missing from the case files made available to him. The missing documents contain evidence of the FSB’s illegal attempts to transfer Nikitin’s case to court in December last year, after the Procurator ordered him released from custody.

The FSB investigator in charge of the Nikitin case, Mr. Boris Utkin, rejected Nikitin’s complaints, claiming that Nikitin had no right to see the documents, as the December indictment was obsolete and therefore no longer of concern –This line of FSB argumentation is ill-placed and obviously demagogic, commented Nikitin’s councel Yuri Shmidt to Bellona Web after receiving Utkin’s refusal.

Now the Prosecutor General of Russia officially agrees with Shmidt. Nikitin’s counsel had a complaint with the PG on September 30, which the Prosecutor complied with on November 6: The missing documents must indeed be part of the Nikitin files.

On November 12, Alexander Nikitin therefore accepted, for the first time during 2 years of investigation, to proceed to the discovery phase.

According to the Russian criminal procedures code, the accused should read through and comment on the files of the case against him, before the case can be put before a court. This last step before a decision on whether to proceed to a trial or dismiss has now begun.