US Citizen Tried In Voronezh

The open trial of US citizen John Eduard Tobbin, charged on several counts of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, has entered its second day. Tobbin is charged, in particular, with illegal drug possession and trafficking, soliciting of other persons to use drugs, and the organization and maintenance of a drug den. It has been established in the course of an investigation that Tobbin, 24, who attended since September 2000 Voronezh University as a post-graduate student majoring in sociology and political science, repeatedly brought marijuana into Voronezh from abroad, for the purpose of use and sale. A package with about 1.5 grams of marijuana (15 doses), as well as plastic bottles with special devices for the group use of drugs were discovered in the course of a search in his flat. An approximately equal quantity of the drug was confiscated from Tobbin when he was searched in the early hours of January 26, 2001, at the entrance to one of Voronezh's night clubs. During the investigation, testimony from about 30 witnesses was heard. The prosecutor and Tobbin's lawyers are to have their say now, after which the accused will make a final statement. The sentence is most likely to be announced Thursday afternoon.

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