Scandalous body trafficking case hearings postponed

The Kirovsky District Court of Novosibirsk has postponed the proceedings involving the shipment of human bodies to Germany until September 8th. This was done because the judge in charge of the case had fallen ill, Vitaly Ognev, the prosecuting attorney, told RIA Novosti.

The court was expected to study the last of the seven volumes of the criminal case and interrogate the defendant, chief of the Novosibirsk-based Forensic Medical Examination Bureau Vladimir Novosyolov.

Novosyolov is facing charges of collecting a total of 50 unclaimed corpses and shipping them to Germany between 1999 and 2001. Law enforcers established that some of the deceased actually had relatives, who knew nothing of the bodies of their dear ones being shipped out of the country. These people are now involved in the case as victims.

During a previous session, the court had decided not to summon the chief witness, the German scientist Gunther von Hagens, who received the bodies. Von Hagens is heading a private Institute of Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany, and is known in the West as an avant-garde artist using human bodies in his shocking anatomical installations. The reason behind the court decision was that summoning the scientist to Novosibirsk would protract the proceedings.

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