Supreme Court decision: Aleksandr Nikitin still in limbo

Publish date: February 4, 1999

Written by: Runar Forseth

13:30 Moscow time: The Russian Supreme Court dismissed the complaints of both the defence team and the prosecution in the case against Aleksandr Nikitin, affirming the October St. Petersburg ruling that returned the case to the FSB for further investigation. Nikitin remains under city arrest, - while the Russian legal system lurks in the dark ages.

Despite a ruling which will once again curtail his freedoms, Nititin was stoic in the grim Moscow courtroom.

"I expected this result," Nikitin said, his voice choked with emotion.

"The problem is that the continued investigation could last forever. I have to think through how I can maintain my mental stamina."

Yury Schmidt, defence leader, said they received the expected result. "The Judge was not courageous enough to make a final decision." Prompted by reporters, Schmidt confirmed that he beleives the court’s decision was influenced by the FSB. "They will not give this case up, it seems," he said.

FSB still without a case
As Schmidt said yesterday, none of the possible three outcomes would mean defeat. It stands that the FSB has not been able to convince any court that they have evidence to convict Aleksandr Nikitin.

Nikitin faces what could be a never-ending effort by the hapless FSB at constructing an indictment. "I’m sorry to live in an undemocratic state," he said.

"As long as Russia, probably as the only country in the world, has the opportunity to send cases back for further investigation, the judges will do this to avoid having to make decisions," co-defender Gery Reznik commented.