NEW YORK (Dec. 12)
Dr. Mikhail Stern went on trial today in Vinnitsa. Ukraine, on charges of accepting bribes from patients to procure illegal drugs, Jewish sources in the Soviet Union reported. According to the sources, the charges are unsubstantiated and the trial is an exercise in intimidation because Stern’s sons had applied for exit visas to go to Israel.
The sources reported that 50 people were admitted to the courtroom at the trial opening, among them relatives of Dr. Stern and two Jewish activists from Moscow who are attending as observers. The 56-year-old Jewish physician was arrested last May after his sons had applied for visas. The trial was to have opened 10 days ago but was postponed because Dr. Stern was ill. He is reportedly suffering from a heart condition.
Jewish sources also reported that Prof. Alexander Voronel of Moscow, a 43-year-old physicist and a leading activist at whose home several scientific seminars had been held, has been given permission by Soviet authorities to leave the USSR.