As expected Prosecutor Aleksandr Gutsan did not have much to add to his previous attempts on proving Aleksandr Nikitins culpability during his closing speech on December 22, 1999.
In fact he had nothing to add. Gutsan only read the indictment, and concluded that Nikitin should serve 20 years in a labour camp for his crimes, but since he had no previous criminal record, 12 years the minimum penalty for state treason was enough. Well, not quite, as he also demanded that Nikitins property should be confiscated by the state.
Gutsans lack of effort
Even if I had expected the above-mentioned, I was still surprised by Gutsans lack of effort. He didnt say anything related to what had been said in court throughout the trial, and he did nothing in order to counter the arguments of the defence.
According to Article 49 of the Constitution, Gutsan has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that all these conditions are fulfilled, in order to get Nikitin convicted for state treason, but he did not even try. Thus, rather than being present in Court throughout the trial, Gutsan could have spent his time somewhere else. Then he could have returned on the final day to read the indictment, and adding the term of Nikitins imprisonment.
No prosecutor should get away with an effort like Gutsans. If he acted on his normal level, one can only wonder how many innocent people he has sent to prison. It is outrageous if he really believes that his effort will be enough for a conviction. He is after all supposed to prove that the description in the indictment is true, and that cant be done only by reading an indictment that does not say anything about Nikitins alleged subjective guilt.
If Nikitin will be convicted on the basis of Gutsans efforts, it would actually have been easier if the trial had been called off. Then the conviction could have been carried out ex officio, and the rest of us had been spared from witnessing a show trial not of the kind that were carried out in Moscow in the 1930s, but still a show trail.
Those trials showed the world persons who were forced to confess and a screaming prosecutor demanding that they should be killed like mad dogs. The trial in the City Court has been of a different kind, showing us a low-voiced prosecutor and a court that has carried out the proceedings in a seemingly fair manner. However, if also this trial is a show trial, this will have the same frightening perspectives as the Moscow-trials of the past.