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Prosecutors appeal verdict in nuclear submarine accident case

May 08, 2013, 9:47 UTC+3

It is a second review of the case

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VLADIVOSTOK, May 8 (Itar-Tass) - Prosecutors have appealed the not-guilty verdict in the case over accident at the Nerpa nuclear submarine. The verdict was handed down by a jury at the Pacific military court on April 29.

"The appeal was forwarded to the military panel of Russia's Supreme Court," a Pacific Fleet prosecutor told Itar-Tass on Wednesday, underlining that he believed "the defense has violated the law of criminal procedure during a hearing."

"It affected decision-making by jurors, and their decision was largely based on emotions rather than facts and evidence," he added.

Earlier, prosecutor Felix Mamot said the jurors had been "unable, due to a number of reasons, to gain insight into the circumstances of the criminal case." Also, the jurors' decision was influenced by the mass media campaign launched by the lawyers in defense of their clients, based on inauthentic arguments and distorted facts.

Captain 1st rank Dmitry Lavrentyev and cargo engineer, petty officer 2nd class Dmitry Grobov were accused of causing the accident. Both pleaded not guilty.

Lavrentyev was accused of exceeding his authority which led to manslaughter. He did not arrange the training of the crew to work with new equipment and act in emergences before the submarine's trial run, the prosecutor said.

Grobov was charged with manslaughter due to improper performance of his duties, as well as grave bodily harm to two members of the trial crew. The investigators said he had pushed the button while on duty "out of boredom" to activate the fire extinguishing system.

During a trial run of the submarine in the Sea of Japan on November 8, 2008, there occurred an unauthorized activation of the ship-borne fire extinguishing system. As a result, 20 people died, and another 38 suffered various degrees of poisoning. The submarine was not in service with the Russian Navy at the time of the accident.

The trial began in camera in June 2011. It is a second review of the case. On October 14, 2011, the court acquitted both defendants on the strength of a jury verdict. The verdict then was overturned by the military panel of the Russian Supreme Court.

The retrial began last summer and ended in a new not-guilty verdict on April 29.

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