The hearing of the case of Vladimir Novosyolov, chief of the regional bureau of forensic medical examination service, who is charged with illegally dispatching 56 dead human bodies and 400 brain specimen to Germany, has been resumed.
The hearing began on April 18th. Five relations of the deceased persons were interrogated. The bodies had been sent to German scientist Guenter von Hagens, who heads a private Transplantation Institute in the German town of Heidelberg and is known in the West as an avant-garde painter using corpses in his anatomic displays. Some of the interrogated relations said that when they were looking for the bodies of their deceased relatives, they were told at the bureau of forensic medical examination service that the bodies had allegedly been cremated.
The scandal over the deliveries of the bodies from Novosibirsk to the German morbid anatomist erupted three years ago, when the public prosecutor's office of the Novosibirsk Region instituted criminal proceedings against 14 chiefs and employees of a number of local medical establishments.
However, the investigators of the prosecutor's office brought officially a charge of unlawful activities only against one of them - the chief of the regional bureau of forensic medical examination service, who appeared before court.
The investigators consider that Novosyolov has violated the federal law "On Burial and Funerals," according to which the use of dead bodies for scientific research may be done only with the consent of the relations of the deceased.
The law-enforcement bodies learned the names of the relations of eight deceased persons whose bodies had been illegally carried from Russia. The relations figure in the case as an aggrieved party.
It is supposed that Dr. von Hagens will be summoned to Novosibirsk from Germany as a witness.