New York (Jan. 12)
— The trial of long-time refusnik Alexander Magidovich began last Thursday in Tula, it was reported here today by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. His friends have not been able to find out what official charges were lodged against the 49-year-old electrical engineer, but they have learned that all evidence is verbal.
According to the two Soviet Jewry groups, the prosecution has alleged that Magidovich, who first applied for an exit visa eight years ago, criticized the Soviet authorities for exiling Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, that he admired bourgeois democracies and their constitutions as more democratic than the Soviet Union’s, and that he expressed dissatisfaction at not being able to emigrate.
Magidovich had been interrogated by the KGB in 1977 in connection with the trial against Anatoly Shcharansky. In February, 1980 secret police searched his apartment and the following month he was forcibly placed for several months in the notorious Serbsky Psychiatric Institute, the two Soviet Jewry groups reported.