Court Open for Duma-observers

Publish date: October 20, 1998

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

ST. PETERSBURG (Bellona Web): After the Court was closed for media and international oberservers earlier today the parts in the court discussed whether the three Duma-observers who were present should be allowed to follow the closed part of the court. The Judge, Sergei Golets, made a historic decision when he allowed the Duma members to stay in the Court room.

Prosecutor Alexandr Gutsan was not happy with the fact that these Dumamembers could continue to follow the closed part of the trial. According tothe Federal law on state secrets Duma-members are allowed to be present in Courtcases where state secrets are discussed.

The Nikitin case is the first trial in Russia and the old Soviet where wehave been allowed to observ, so this is historical for us, says JurijRybakov, Duma member from St. Petersburg, in a statement shortly after theCourt ended its first day. The trial starts again tomorrow at 11:00a.m. (GMT+3). During the second day of the trial Alexandr Nikitin will read hisstatement and comments to the charges.

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