Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 19

On June 25, in a trial conducted with the accused being in absentia, the Narofominsk Military Court in Moscow found former FSB Lieutenant Colonel Aleksandr Litvinenko guilty of abuse of office and “the illegal acquisition of explosives” and handed him a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence (, June 25). The prosecutors in the trial appeared to be in a great hurry to complete the trial before a new Criminal Procedure Code came into effect on July 1: The new code explicitly prohibits trials in absentia. Commenting on the trial, Litvinenko maintained: “I am innocent, and I am being judged for having told the truth about the bombings of the apartment buildings in [Moscow and Volgodonsk in September] 1999, and about the fact that those bombings were organized by the Russian special services” (Kommersant, June 22).