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VLADIVOSTOK, September 30 (Itar-Tass) —— The Pacific Court Martial has passed an acquittal verdict for the defendants in the Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine accident, which killed 20 people in 2008. The acquittal verdict is based on the decision of the jury.
Prosecutor of the Military Prosecutor’s Office Sergei Kolomiets told reporters after the trial that the supervisory agency intends to appeal the acquittal verdict in higher instances.
The jury acquitted the captain and the petty officer of the nuclear-powered submarine Nerpa. They were the defendants in the submarine incident, which killed 20 people. The verdict of the jury was pronounced after four-month hearings in the Pacific Court Martial, which were held behind closed doors.
The jury acquitted Captain First Rank Dmitry Lavrentyev “of office abuse that entailed the death of two and more people through negligence” an engine driver Petty Officer II Class Dmitry Grobov of “causing death of two and more people through negligence as a result of the improper performance of their professional duties and inflicting a heavy damage to the health through negligence as a result of the improper performance of professional duties, a source in the court secretariat told Itar-Tass on Friday.
The detectives found that Lavrentyev did not train the crewmen properly to operate the new equipment and how to act in emergency situations before the submarine sets out for a sea trial.
The second defendant – Petty Officer Dmitry Grobov was named as the direct culprit of the incident. The detectives found out that it was he being on duty who pushed the bottoms that resulted in the unauthorized activation of the firefighting system.
The Pacific Court Martial began the merit proceedings with the jury behind closed doors in June 2011. At the trial both defendants pled not guilty and Grobov refused from a statement of pleading guilty that he signed earlier.
On November 8, 2008, onboard the nuclear-powered submarine, which was not put into service of the Russian Navy, during the sea trial the automatic firefighting system was activated in the Sea of Japan (the East Sea). Some 20 people were killed and 21 more people sustained various poisonings in the incident. Some 17 civilians (members of the team from the producing plant) and three servicemen are among the casualties.