Tags: Witness | Pope | Spy | Case | Recants

Witness in Pope Spy Case Recants

Wednesday, 08 November 2000 12:00 AM

Professor Anatoly Babkin, a prosecution witness against retired Navy Capt. Ed Pope, has "retracted an earlier statement about providing classified information to the defendant," according to Reuters news agency, which reports that Babkin "wrote a letter to the court saying he had made his statement under pressure from investigators."

Pope's lawyer, Pavel Astakhov, showed reporters a copy of Babkin's hand-written retraction in which "He says he did not read the transcript of his own statement made during the investigation under pressure in a pre-heart-attack state."

Babkin suffered a heart attack shortly after his April 3 arrest with Pope and was allowed to remain at home. Says Astakhov, "The letter completely ruins the testimony on which the whole case has been built."

Russian security officials have charged Pope with espionage, saying he was trying to obtain classified information.

According to Reuters, Babkin's wife, Galina, "said last month the FSB security police had put pressure on her husband. The FSB denied the allegation."

In a conversation said to have been recorded in Babkin's Moscow apartment and later broadcast on NTV two men identified by their first names only are heard to threaten a man thought to be Babkin, according to the Moscow Times.

A man identified only as Oleg says, "We came to visit you unofficially ... because some nuances do not satisfy us. Anatoly Ivanovich [Babkin] must say [in court] only what he said during the investigation. Anatoly Ivanovich, if you suddenly say something other than you have, you will get Article 275." The Times notes that Article 275 is the Russian Criminal Code's section on high treason.

"Oleg then tells the woman, whom NTV assumes to be Yashina, that if her husband testifies in court differently than he did during the investigation - when he gave evidence against Pope - then he will 'again end up in Lefortovo Prison and then in Siberian prison camps.'"

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Professor Anatoly Babkin, a prosecution witness against retired Navy Capt. Ed Pope, has retracted an earlier statement about providing classifiedinformation to the defendant, according to Reuters news agency, which reports that Babkin wrote a letter to the court saying...
Witness,Pope,Spy,Case,Recants
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2000-00-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2000 12:00 AM
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