NEW YORK (Nov. 25)
Aleksandr Feldman was sentenced Friday to 3-1/2 years on a charge of “malicious hooliganism,” the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry reported. The SSSJ said the trial was held in a factory in Kiev in an apparent attempt to keep its whereabouts a secret. Feldman, a 26-year-old engineer, was originally scheduled to go on trial Nov. 19 but when protest demonstrators appeared they were told it had been postponed. Feldman, who had applied for a visa to emigrate to Israel several months ago, was arrested Oct. 18 as he was leaving Simchat Torah services at a synagogue.
The charge of “malicious hooliganism” carries a sentence of 1-5 years. The SSSJ asserted that the severity of Feldman’s sentence is an obvious attempt to frighten Jews in Kiev from applying for emigration visas. The SSSJ reported that the judge in Feldman’s trial was surnamed Yamakova, and the prosecutor was surnamed Kolushny. The Soviet Jewry group also reported that no friends, relatives or defense witnesses were permitted to attend the trial but that a “special public,” that is, persons carefully selected by the authorities, was permitted to attend the trial.