Nikitin trial, take two:
“We are ready for this process,” said Aleksandr Nikitin. Stressing the thorough work he and his defenders had done on the indictment, he assured that both he and his defenders felt confident about the outcome of the trial that starts tomorrow. “If we get a fair trial, we will win,” Nikitin said.
The big question, though, and one that chief defender Yury Schmidt stressed, is whether the trial will indeed be fair. So far, the process against Nikitin has been going on for more than four years, and the case is riddled with human rights violations, and violations of current Russian law.
Schmidt also presented the background of the case, his speech to a large extent repeating the press release published earlier.
Human Rights complaint
Bellona legal adviser Jon Gauslaa said that a complaint has been filed with the Human Rights court in Strasbourg, the jurisdiction of which Russia ratified in 1998. The complaint refers to articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concerning the right to have a criminal case resolved within reasonable time, and the use of retroactive and secret legislation. If the case continues after the upcoming trial, the complaint at Strasbourg will be extended, Gauslaa said. The complaint has been filed at Strasbourg with number 50178/99.
Both representative of the Helsinki Committee, Aaron Rhodes, and Bellona Foundation President, Frederic Hauge, stressed the importance of the FSB-initiated case against Aleksandr Nikitin being a case against the Russian people. It threatens all Russians’ right to information and their freedom of speech. Hauge also stated that the Bellona Foundation is an environmental organisation – no matter what the FSB says.
“We don’t have time for this”
US Congressman David Skaggs, said that the world has a common interest in the Nikitin case: the rule of law. He also said the case clearly shows the link between environmentalism and human rights.