“Today I will tell the Court the truth”

Publish date: October 21, 1998

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

ST. PETERSBURG (Bellona Web): -Today the Court is going to hear the truth, said an optimistic Aleksandr Nikitin when he walked in to the second day of the trial in the City Court of St. Petersburg. Starting at 11:00 a.m. (GMT+3) Aleksandr Nikitin will give his testimony to the Court.

-During this three year long process I have told the investigators in FSB the facts, but they have only included their story in the charges. This is the first time since the case started I am in a position to tell my version of the story without being interrupted by FSB investigators, said Nikitin. His testimony will take the whole day, and is expected to continue tomorrow morning.

The Court is closed for media and international observers, but the three Duma-members who yesterday were allowed to follow the closed part of the Court are also present today. The FSB argues that Nikitin broke the law by violating secret, unpublished and retroactive decrees. At the end of the first day in court Nikitin and his lawyers received these decrees for the first time. No other ordinary Russian citizen has ever seen these decrees, issued by the Ministry of Defence in September 1996.

Nikitin said to Bellona Web before he entered the closed court room, that he is very well prepared for today. He also stated that he is very glad for all the support from all over the world during this process, particularly the massive support the last days before the trial started. Outside the City Court Nikitin-supporters have strung up large banners proclaiming, "The Trial Against Nikitin is Russia’s Shame".