Moscow court sends American's deportation complaint for re-examination

Lawyer for the plaintiff Yelena Zinger told RIA Novosti yesterday that the capital's Meshchansky city court was intending to send a complaint made by US citizen Ken David Lee against the Federal Security Service (FSB) for re-examination on Wednesday. Kent Lee was deported from Russia in 1997.

The American's complaint has already been considered once by a regional court. However, on December 23rd, 1999 it was rejected. The American appealed through his lawyers against this decision in a Moscow city court, but the board of appeal and the presidium of the Moscow city court ruled that it was legal.

The verdict was overturned by the Russian Supreme Court, which upheld a supervisory complaint made by deputy chairman of the court Viktor Zhuikov that had been brought at the request of the American's lawyers. The compliant was sent to the Meshchensky court for new consideration.

Kent David Lee headed the Russian branch of the American information firm, East View Publications, and was deported from Russian in autumn 1997 on suspicion of espionage. EVP opened its Moscow office in 1992 and was officially involved in the acquisition and distribution all over the world of printed products, both in their original, and in re-produced forms - microfilm and microfiche. However, Russia's secret services established that the branch headed by Kent Lee worked on attaining reports intended for office use only and classified information.

The basis for Kent Lee's deportation was that it had been established that he had turned to a Russian citizen (a certain Lev Rozhansky) with a proposal to pay him for secret documents. It was established that Rozhansky and Kent Lee undertook efforts to pay Russian citizens for reports, including secret ones not included in any special agreements. The FSB eventually closed a criminal case against Rozhansky.

Kent Lee's lawyers believe that there is no other evidence in the FSB case materials that the American had done anything for which he could have been expelled from the country.

Hearings on September 24th did not take place, because Kent Lee's lawyer Boris Kuznetsov was in court for another trial.

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