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Alexandr Nikitin’s Innocence Confirmed by Supreme Court
April 17, 2000

On April 17, 2000, a panel of three judges on the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation confirmed the decision of the St. Petersburg City Court to acquit engineer Alexandr Nikitin of all charges. The Supreme Court found that the prosecution’s arguments against the acquittal were inconsistent and unacceptable.

The prosecution had appealed to the Supreme Court on December 30, 1999, one day after Mr. Nikitin was fully exonerated of charges of treason and disclosure of state secrets by the St. Petersburg court.

Although the investigation of his case lasted more than four years, the Supreme Court’s affirmation of Mr. Nikitin’s innocence is widely viewed as a victory for the rule of law in Russia. While the prosecution could appeal once again, on the basis of a 1960 Soviet law, for a final ruling to be made by the full Supreme Court, there has been no indication to date that it will take such recourse.