NEW YORK (Jan. 7)
Dr. Mikhail Stern’s defense attorney appealed yesterday to the Ukrainian Supreme Court against Dr. Stern’s eight-year sentence in a “strengthened” labor camp arid confiscation of all his property on charges of swindling and accepting bribes, according to Jewish sources in the Soviet Union. The sources said that Dr. Stern’s son Viktor, telephoned Western correspondents in Moscow to report that the lawyer, David Akselbant, based his appeal on the grounds of judicial error. Jewish activists have charged that the conviction by a court in the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa was due to the application for emigration to Israel by Dr. Stern and his two sons, Viktor and August.
(In Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Yigal Allon has denounced the sentence as a “blatant injustice” which illustrated the cruelty to which Soviet authorities would stoop to frighten Soviet Jewry and stifle their desire to come to Israel. He declared that this blatant miscarriage of justice will not deter Soviet Jewry in the future as they did not deter them in the past.)
(In London, 3200 doctors from Britain and several West European countries protested the Stern. sentence in a telegram to President Nikolai Podgorny of the Soviet Union. The telegram pointed out that virtually all of the government witnesses against Dr. Stern had recanted their testimony in open court, yet Stern was sentenced as if there had been evidence against him. The signatures of the 1200 British physicians who signed the protest were collected by Dr. Harold Merskey, an eminent psychologist. The European doctors’ signatures were collected by Dr. Jeanne Smeulers, a Dutch endocrinologist. Endocrinology is Dr, Stern’s specialty.)