Honest Lawyer and the Feldman Case

The full written appeal of Alexander Feldman’s lawyer, I. S. Yezhov against the three-and- a half year sentence reached London earlier this month. A moving legal document, it highlights the absurdity of the charges against Feldman and shows what an honest Soviet lawyer is up against in a KGB-rigged trial.

Feldman was alleged to have attacked a woman, Valentina Teliatova. When she screamed, her cries were heard by two law students who apprehended Feldman and by a criminal investigator, Khriapa, who happened to be passing in his car. The lawyer asked Khriapa how he could have heard the victim’s cries when he was speeding in a street both noisy and separated from the place of the incident by a tall housing block.

Valentina Teliatova was asked some even more embarrassing questions. She was supposed to have bumped into a friend called Slavlk, whom she had met sunbathing two months previously. They agreed to meet for a date later that evening. It was when she was on her way to this rendezvous that the incident occurred. However, she did know Slavik’s last name, nor his address, nor his place of work, only that he lived near the Post Office. Moreover Teliatova took a peculiar route to the Post Office, going up and down side streets and backtracjing in an almost planned strategy to surprise Feldman a few metres from his home.

Even the meca1 report mentioned only cuts on her hand, more consistent with hiding in the raspberry bush outside Feldman’s home than with a vicious attack by a drunken hooligan.

Teliatova’s identity was kept a secret by the biased judge. Her marital status, which would have clarified the nature of her association and indeed her date with Slavik was forbidden to be known in the courtroom.

She said that on the morning of the incident she had been on shopping expedition. The alleged attack occurred on October 18, a Thursday, and a working day. If indeed she had a day off, this could easily be checked by the administration at her place of work. This information too was forbidden to be given in court.

Feldman became so disgusted w1th this black carnival that was being staged that he refused to take part in the proceedings. Notes that he had made prison cell were confiscated and were not given back to him in court. His father and brothers were not allowed to be present. Both these actions taken by the court were violations of the Ukrainian Criminal Code.

Feldman was particularly upset that his friends, Grigory Bierson, Kim Fridman and Alexander Tsatakis who had accompanied him from the synagogue on the day of the alleged incident, were not allowed into the courtroom. They had left Feldman minutes before the incident and could have given evidence.

Indeed only those witnesses who agreed with the charge sheet version of the attack were permitted to testify.

Advocate Yezhov was particularly concerned to establish the identity of Slavik, who did not appear in court,

In conclusion, Yezhov that in accordance with Articles 348 and 367 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Ukrainian SSR, the verdict be repealed at the preliminary investigation stage. The request was bluntly and somewhat cynically turned down by the Kiev District Court on December 27 and the sentence confirmed.

Feldman now intends to appeal to the Ukrainian Supreme Court.

Jerusalem Post 21 January 1974


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