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Russia: Rights Group Asks Supreme Court To Review Ruling

Moscow, 24 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A human rights watchdog appealed to Russia's Supreme Court to review a local court's ruling in a spy trial that has been criticized as an attack on academic freedom. The case involves Igor Sutyagin, an arms control researcher who is accused of providing information on Russia's combat-readiness to the United States.

The Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights expressed concern yesterday about a court ruling to send Sutyagin's case back for further investigation after prosecutors failed to prove his guilt. The court ruled last month that Sutyagin should remain in jail.

The federation said in a letter to the Supreme Court it is troublesome that despite irregularities and the absence of evidence, the Kaluga court did not bring a not-guilty verdict. The group said the investigators' failure to build up a case is not a valid reason to submit a person to inhuman treatment in a detention facility. Sutyagin has been in jail since October 1999.