Trial of Oleg Kalugin, accused of high treason, drawing to a close

Trial of KGB retired General Oleg Kalugin, accused of high treason by the Military Prosecutor General's Office, is coming to an end in Moscow City Court.

On Wednesday the court accomplished the investigation into the case by pronouncing the materials of the criminal case and intends to begin pleadings soon, Evgeny Baru, the lawyer of the accused, said. According to him, the pleadings will start on June 21, and the public prosecutor will be the first to speak, the defence following him. The proceedings on Oleg Kalugin's case commenced on June 17, Monday, at Moscow's City Court. It did not take long to examine the case because the charged was absent from the process. Besides not a single witness was summoned to the court, Baru remarked.

At present 68-year-old Kalugin lives in America. The demand that he arrive in Moscow to be charged and tried was ignored by him.

The process on the case was initiated on May 27, however as a matter of fact the court managed to start examining the case only on Monday, pronouncing the bill of indictment. Before that the court had been obliged to consider various motions of the defence. In particular the lawyer asked for a break in the process so that he could get in touch with his client and coordinate his actions.

The ground for initiating proceedings against Kalugin was the fact that the general disclosed information about Russian agents in some interviews and his book, which had been published abroad.

Moreover, last June Kalugin witnessed against US army ex-Colonel George Trofimoff at a trial in the US. On the basis of his evidence the latter was found guilty of espionage in favour of the Soviet Union and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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