No verdict before Christmas

Publish date: December 3, 1999

Written by: Runar Forseth

Prosecutor Gutsan used his right to call on experts from Moscow, thus prolonging the proceedings. Meanwhile, N. G. Mormul made a good case for the defence in Court today.

Prosecutor calls experts to Court:

According to the Russian Criminal Procedure Code the prosecutor may demand that members of the expert committees involved with the case be heard during the trial. Prosecutor in the Nikitin case, A. Gutsan, used this option today, delaying the closing of the case with at least 14 days, by calling experts from Moscow. The experts will appear in Court between 14 and 16 December.

The scheduled continuation of the trial is this: Proceedings continue on 6, 7 and 9 December, with further examination of the Court documents. Then, on 14 through 16 December, experts from Moscow will have their say. Closing speeches will be made during the week starting 20 December, probably concluding on 22 December.

Then Judge Golets will need some time to prepare the verdict, which will hopefully be presented before the year’s end.

Admiral Mormul supported Nikitin

Today, Rear Admiral Nikolay Mormul, retired, testified in Court. Mormul has been known to support Nikitin’s work, and he did so today. He was also present at the following press briefing.

“Mormul showed admirable clearness today,” said chief defender Yury Schmidt. “The Admiral was confident that Aleksandr Nikitin’s work had been to the benefit of his country, and not the opposite. He told the Court that all accidents should have been handled openly, with the press getting the information only after the relatives in case of deaths.”

Gutsan – for the occasion Schmidt jokingly called him ‘our favourite prosecutor’ – had then asked how he thought such things were handled in the west. The Admiral had answered, “It’s because the U.S. Navy was all openness around their two serious nuclear submarine accidents that they had no serious accidents later. They were able to learn from their errors.”

The prosecutor had only asked four or five questions of the witness.

“The Bellona report should be in all submarines”

“The description of the accidents and catastrophes that has happened in our navy, should be a lesson for the whole world for the future,” Mormul had stated in Court, continuing, “The Bellona report should be present on the bridge of all nuclear submarines. The dead should teach the living how to avoid a similar destiny. If we make a secret out of this information, then there will be real danger.”

“The judge listened carefully to my testimony,” said Mormul. “He seemed to be seeking the truth.”

“Mormul considered Bellona’s work as very valuable and thereby created a good contrast to the testimony of Perovsky yesterday,” Schmidt added.

Defence to analyse the proceedings so far

“We will prepare an analysis about how the case has developed,” said Aleksandr Nikitin. “Perovsky gave us a good point in his testimony yesterday, where it became clear that the case started with falsified documents. I can not say more at this point.”

Schmidt would not comment further on the Perovsky testimonial yesterday. “Not before my closing speech, or possibly through a press relase.”

The prosecutor did not present any documents on the Perovsky case today, in spite of Golets’ request yesterday.

No further press briefings were scheduled at this point. Information on this will be published on this web site.