Prosecutors demand another review of Nerpa sub accident case
VLADIVOSTOK, May 8 (RAPSI) - The Military Prosecutor's Office of Russia's Pacific Fleet has appealed the acquittal of the two officers accused of having caused the deadly 2008 Nerpa submarine accident, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
"We believe that the defense attorneys seriously violated the criminal procedure law and prevented the jury from passing a fair verdict," a prosecutor was quoted as saying.
On November 8, 2008, the Akula II class nuclear attack submarine Nerpa was running sea trials in the Sea of Japan in the western Pacific when its freon-based fire extinguisher system malfunctioned, killing 20 of the 208 people on board and injuring 21.
Captain Dmitry Lavrentyev was charged with abuse of power and Engineer Dmitry Grobov was accused of having negligently caused death. The jury found them not guilty on September 14, 2011. Both men were acquitted. The Supreme Court's Military Board overturned the judgment in May 2012 and ordered a retrial.
The Russian Pacific Fleet's Military Court acquitted both Lavrentyev and Grobov once again in April. The ruling was based on the jury's finding.
If the prosecutors' appeal is granted, a retrial may be staged without a jury, since a recent change in the federal legislation does not allow cases involving classified information to be considered by a jury.