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Kishinev Trial Postponed; Three Riga Defendants Deny Anti-soviet Activities

The trial of nine Jews scheduled to open in Kishinev tomorrow has been postponed, authoritative Jewish sources said here today. There was no immediate explanation for the decision. Yesterday, on the first day of the trial of four Jews in Riga, three of the defendants categorically denied having engaged in anti-Soviet activities, the sources reported. The three were Ruth Aleksandrovich. Mikhail Shepshelovich and Arkady Shpilberg. As evidence against them and Boris Maftsier, the prosecution submitted a copy of a one-page journal called “Iton” (Hebrew for newspaper) containing an article titled “My National Language.” The language referred to was Hebrew. Reports from Jewish sources in Riga said that Jews there have been plunged into gloom and foreboding since the trial opened. There was slight hope among them that the Soviet authorities might reconsider and end the trial under the pressure of world public opinion. Because of the secrecy of the court proceedings, the stringent police measures to keep away spectators and newsmen, and rumors of a demonstration of defiance by local Jews, an atmosphere of tension prevails in the Soviet Latvian capital–and not only among the Jews. Meanwhile, in Marseilles, an Algerian-born Israeli tried to commit hara-kiri today during a demonstration against the Riga trial. Daniel Baccry, 38, plunged a knife into his stomach and was hospitalized.

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