PARIS (Jul. 10)
Avital Shcharansky, wife of Anatoly Shcharansky, said here today that her husband is “absolutely innocent” of any wrongdoing and appealed to President Valery Giscard d’Estaing to help save him. She said her husband’s “only crime” was that he wants to go to Israel. “He is not a spy, he is not a criminal. He is just a Jew who wants to go home–to Israel.” Mrs. Shcharansky said that her husband’s trial “may mark the beginning of a movement to exterminate Jews in the Soviet Union.” She said she will now be leaving for the United States to draw the American public’s attention to her husband’s case.
Meanwhile, three French lawyers, one of whom, Roland Rappaport, is a member of the French Communist Party, said they had compiled a brief on the Soviet investigation and on the overall case. They described the proceedings as “a mock trial” and said they had sent a copy of their brief to the Soviet authorities. All three had been refused Soviet visas and permission to attend the trial.