First witnesses to testify today

In wonderful weather, sunshine and five degrees plus, the Court set at 11:05 this morning. The security was immense because of another case, and it was almost impossible to move about in the court building. One result of this was that several people were ‘trapped’ inside courtroom number 48 as the Court set.

Among them were Angelika Bækken from the Bellona Foundation. She later said, “the Court just set and started questioning Sopko. I guess Judge Golets knew there was no way for us to get out. We heard the first part of Sopko’s statement and one question from Gutsan. Before the answer we were shown out, however.”

The first point of today was the questioning of Galina D. Sopko, employee of the Kuznetsov academy’s library. Sopko has testified that Artemenkov received books from the library, which he let Alexander Nikitin look through on August 8, 1995. Sopko looked interested, but a little flustered from being in Court. She was asked questions both by the prosecutor and the defence.

After Sopko the Court went on to question Yevgeny D. Chernov, retired admiral and Nikitin’s father in-law. Earlier, Chernov testified about three trips Nikitin made to Oslo in 1994 and 1995. He has also confirmed that Nikitin had signed a contract of employment with Bellona.

Present in the Court today was also State Duma member Piotr Borisovich Shelisch as an observer.

Watch this space for further updates after the afternoon’s press briefing.