LONDON (Oct. 20)
A Moscow Judge declared Victor Polsky guilty of reckless driving but said a jail term wan not called for under the circumstances and imposed a nominal fine of 100 rubles (about $140) on the 44-year-old Jewish physicist. The verdict, read out Friday by Judge GI. Solovyov, ended a trial which bad drawn international attention because it was widely viewed as an example of Soviet harassment of Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel.
Polsky, who was fired from his Job after apply- ing for an exit visa but continued to be active in behalf of the Jewish emigration movement, was accused of injuring a pedestrian while driving on a Moscow street last March. The victim, Tatyana Zhukova, a 19-year-old law student, deliberately threw herself in front of Polsky’s car in an apparent suicide attempt after quarreling with her parents. She is the daughter of an official of the Interior Ministry and Communist Party. Those circumstances led to charges by Jewish groups in Russia and abroad that Polsky was accused on trumped-up charges.
The suicide attempt was ignored in the accusations brought against Polsky on which he faced a maximum sentence of up to three years imprisonment, But two doctors who treated the Injured girl testified in court that she had told them she deliberately ran in front of Polsky’s car. The trial was believed to be the first since the Stalin purge trials of the 1930s that Western observers, Including lawyers, were admitted to the courtroom. The Judge ruled that Polsky was driving too fast and on the wrong side of the street but found mitigating circumstances in the fact that the girl was jay-walking and that Polsky had no previous trouble with the police.