NEW YORK (Jul. 2)
Aleksei Murzhenko, one of the two non-Jews involved in the 1970 Leningrad airplane hijack attempt by Jews desperate to leave the Soviet Union, has returned to his family in Kiev after serving a 14 year sentence in the strict regime labor camp near Perm in Siberia, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported today.
Another non-Jew, Yuri Federov, also convicted in the first Leningrad hijack trial, will be released next year after completing a 15 year sentence.
Murzhenko, 42, was convicted in 1970 of “treason”, “anti-Soviet agitation” and organizing the theft of “state property”–an aircraft — in an attempt together with Jewish refuseniks to fly to Israel. All of the Jews convicted have since completed their sentences.