Soviet Jew Goes on Trial

Valery Pilnikov, a Soviet Jewish activist from Kiev, goes on trial tomorrow on trumped up charges of malicious hooliganism and alleged beating, the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry learned today. The trial is being held despite written evidence clearing him of all charges, Pilnikov’s wife was detained by Kiev police immediately after she submitted to the courts the affidavit signed by an alleged victim of the beating. Not one lawyer in Kiev has been willing to undertake Pilnikov’s defense. Pilnikov was arrested on May 16 immediately upon his return from Moscow, where a group of 20 Soviet Jews delivered a complaint to the Communist Party Central Committee about ovir’s refusal to grant them permission to emigrate to Israel.

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