Kishinev Trial Begins; Palatnik Trial to Start; Kukui Given Three Years in Prison

The trial of nine Jews in Kishinev began today and the trial of Roiza Palatnik is scheduled to start tomorrow or Wednesday in Odessa, according to Jewish sources. The same sources reported that Valeriy Kukui of Sverdlovsk has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. The trial of Miss Palatnik, who has been held incommunicado since last Dec. 1 on charges of anti-Soviet “slander,” will take place in a relatively low court. The prosecution has reportedly invited 16 witnesses, among them her sister, Katya, and her niece, Sonya. According to the sources, the trial is expected to last three days. The Jewish sources identified the Presiding Judge as Kotenko, the Peoples Judges as Yikimenco, a teacher, and Goncharenko, “hero of the Soviet Union.” The prosecutor was identified as Tipunova, and Miss Palatnik’s defense attorney as Poltoratski. No first names were available. The nine Kishinev Jews on trial have been identified as: David Chernoglas, Aleksander Galperin, Gari Kirshner, Arkady Voloshin, David Rabinovick, Abraham Trakhtenberg, somoon Levit, Hillel Shur and Anatoly Goldfeld.

Jewish sources also reported that 32 of the 70 Jews of Wilna who recently sat in at the Lithuanian Communist Party headquarters to demand an explanation why their applications for emigration permits were being arbitrarily delayed, assembled Friday in the office of the Communist Party in Moscow. They were received by the director of the office and asked him to grant them permission to leave the Soviet Union. They were reportedly told that six applications will be examined but that emigration permits will be refused for the others. The sources reported that the 32 Wilna Jews were warned by the director that they would have to leave Moscow and return immediately to Wilna or they might be charged with illegal stay in the Soviet capital and arrested. Kukui was arrested on March 17 after he and a number of other Jews from Sverdlovsk had signed a letter of protest to Soviet leaders against the harsh verdicts handed down in the first Leningrad trial last Dec. Miss Palatnik’s trial was repeatedly delayed because of her refusal to cooperate with the interrogators and because of her lengthy hunger strike.

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