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Four Jews Sentenced to Death for ‘economic Crimes’ by Ukrainian Court

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The Supreme Court of the Ukraine has affirmed the death sentences of four Jews convicted last August of “economic crimes” following a year-long trial in Donetsk, according to information received by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Fifty co-defendants in the closed trial, all of whom are not Jewish, received lesser sentences, according to information available to the NCSJ.

The four men sentenced to death are Gavriel Sepiashvili, 39, from Sukhumi, who is married and the father of three children; Raphael Abziashvili, 48, from Tblisi, married with three children, Elia Mikhashvili, 42, from Tblisi, married with four children and a Baku man surnamed Abassov. Although the prosecutor had asked for sentences of 12 years for Sepiashvili 15 for Abziashvili and 10 for Mikhashvili, they and Abassov received death sentences on August 28, 1978.

The decision of the Ukrainian Supreme Court can be upset only by the Supreme. Court of the USSR. Failing that, a grant of clemency by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev would be the only recourse.

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