Nikitin trial date set

Publish date: October 5, 1999

Written by: Igor Kudrik

St. Petersburg City Court is to hear the Nikitin case on 23 November 1999.

St. Petersburg City Court Judge Sergei Golets will hear the espionage case against environmentalist Alexandr Nikitin beginning November 23, 1999. Nikitin has been charged eight successive times with espionage for his participation in a Bellona report detailing the unsafe nuclear waste storage practices of the Russian Northern Fleet.

The court hearing is to follow the additional investigation conducted by the Russian Security Police, or FSB. The case was sent to the further investigation by the same judge, Sergei Golets, in October 1998. The Judge said then that the indictment submitted by the FSB was vague and inconsistent with Russian federal legislation. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation reaffirmed Golets’s decision in February 1999.

"But the new indictment, prepared by the FSB for the court, had not been made consistent with the Russian federal legislation, as the two courts demanded," says Nikitin’s defender Yury Schmidt.

Aleksandr Nikitin is still indicted in accordance with secret and retroactive normative acts – in violation of both Russian and international principles of legal protection.

On July 26, 1999, Aleksandr Nikitin, frustrated with the Russian legal system, forwarded his application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The application has been registered as case no. 50178/99. Currently, a judge in Strasbourg has been appointed to evaluate the application and make recommendations for further procedure.