Nikitin’s lawyers file petition to dismiss the case

Publish date: January 16, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

Yesterday, Nikitin's lawyers filed a petition requesting the dismissal the case against the award-winning environmentalist. According to the lawyers, neither the juridical nor the factual side of the charges against Nikitin can be sustained by the existing federal laws of the Russian Federation.

Yesterday, the lawyers of Alexander Nikitin filed a petition with the District Attorney of St. Petersburg and the FSB demanding the dismissal of the case. The DA is expected to act on the petition in late January.

The petition is based on two basic lines of argumentation:

Firstly, the juridical part of the charges, which does not comply with any of the national or international principles of legal protection. As has been previously reported, the current charges against Nikitin are based on a secret decree of the Defence Ministry of Russia, which is also being applied retroactively against the accused.

Secondly, the factual part of the charges – the information in the Bellona Northern Fleet report, which according to the FSB contains state secrets. A comprehensive list of the publicly available sources of information is attached to the petition, effectively disclaiming any statements about the secrecy of the data. Moreover, the petition is supplied with 22 expert evaluations, among them admirals and academicians, which state

unambiguously that there is not a glimpse of secrecy in the materials.

The defence council and Nikitin do not put high hopes in the response of the petition to the FSB and the St. Petersburg District Attorney. Judging by their previous experience, they are almost certain it will be declined. Real hope, however, exists that a positive decison will finally be made by the office of Attorney General of Russia in Moscow.