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Leningrad Jew Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison for Alleged “public Nuisance”

Nikolai Yavor, a Jewish activist in Leningrad, was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment today for allegedly “committing a public nuisance,” according to Jewish sources in the USSR. Yavor had previously served a 10-day sentence for “hooliganism.”

The sources said the original charge against him of being “drunk and disorderly” was dropped after it was established that Yavor never drank. A KGB (secret police) agent who testified against him admitted that Yavor’s alleged “public nuisance” offense had been committed in private. The nature of the offense was not disclosed.

Jewish sources reported today that the trial of Isaac Shkolnik, accused of spying for Israel, is being conducted under maximum security conditions provided by a Red Army detachment in addition to police. Shkolnik’s wife, Feiga, has been refused admittance to the Vinnetsa brick factory serving as a courtroom the sources said.

They said the prosecutor, a deputy district attorney surnamed Buzdijan, produced as evidence of spying an affidavit from Israel which arrived for Shkolnik Just before his arrest last July 5. The affidavit, confiscated by the KGB, was an Invitation from relatives in Israel, a necessary prerequisite for emigration. But Buzdijan claimed that the accused was collecting information that he planned to pass on to Israeli authorities on his arrival in Israel.

Sholnik admitted in court that he had talked to Russians and foreigners but never on matters remotely related to security. His defense counselor, Nikolai Makarenko, argued that it was no crime to talk to citizens of foreign countries

(The East Bay Chapter of the San Francisco Area Council on Soviet Jewry reported today that several Riga Jews were taken into custody yesterday for questioning by the KGB. They said the questioning related to the trial in Minsk of Yefim Davidovitch and the collection of signatures on a petition protesting Davidovitch’s trial. He has been charged with anti-Soviet propaganda allegedly arising from his criticism of anti-Semitism in the USSR).

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