Prosecutor demands 12-year sentence for Nikitin

Publish date: December 22, 1999

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

The prosecutor concluded his closing speech today by demanding a 12-year sentence for Aleksandr Nikitin on the charges of high treason and disclosure of state secrets. He said it would be a 20-year sentence should Nikitin have been charged with a crime earlier.

The Court session started today at 11.00 to hear the closing speeches of the prosecutor and the Nikitin defence. Prosecutor Gutsan entered the courtroom and hurried to his desk without saying hello to anybody as he usually did. He snapped his brief case open and started to lay out on the table his papers. The prosecutor was first to take the floor and demanded the court doors to be closed for public.

At 12.20 the prosecutor finished his speech and the court took a break. During the break the defence team said that the prosecutor read laud the indictment against Nikitin and concluded it with one sentence: “I demand 12 years in prison for Nikitin.” Gutsan also added that it was a merciful gesture. He said he would demand 20 years in prison should Nikitin have been charged with a crime earlier. 20 years is the maximum sentence for high treason charges.

The three lawyers from Nikitin’s defence team – Michael Matinov, Ivan Pavlov and Yury Schmidt – are about to start their closing speeches. This part of today’s court session will be open for public.