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DATE=8/1/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA/NIKITIN (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-265016 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russian environmental activist Alexander Nikitin has accused judicial prosecutors of harassment, for trying to reopen a treason case against him after a judge dismissed a similar charge. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports Mr. Nikitin, a former navy captain, spoke with reporters (Tuesday) one day before a judge is due to consider an appeal by Russia's prosecutor general to re-examine the case. TEXT: Alexander Nikitin first learned of the court action during a recent visit to Washington, to highlight environmental problems and human rights abuses in Russia. One day before the appeal hearing, he told reporters he would remain in Russia to finish his legal fight, which has already dragged on for four years. /// NIKITIN ACT IN RUSSIAN - IN FULL, FADE UNDER /// He says, "I just want to say that I am not going to run away and hide. I will stay here and will continue to work in Russia." In 1996, the former Russian navy captain was accused of leaking state secrets when he wrote about the environmental dangers of Russian nuclear submarines in the Arctic Sea (for the Norwegian environmental organization Bellona). Mr. Nikitin says agents of Russia's Federal Security Service, the F-S-B, were simply continuing their quest to harass environmental organizations in Russia. /// NIKITIN ACT IN RUSSIAN - IN FULL, FADE UNDER /// "The F-S-B believes that Western intelligence services are working under the umbrella of these ecological organizations," he says. "That is the simple reason why there are such persecutions of people and independent organizations." In April, Alexander Nikitin was acquitted of espionage charges, after years of investigation, as well as imprisonment and time spent in solitary confinement. But in a move that surprised those who thought the case was over, Russia's prosecutor general appealed to Russia's Supreme Court to reopen the case. Lawyers for Mr. Nikitin say the reason given for the appeal was the prosecutor general's demand that there was an "obvious need" for additional investigation into what were described as "shortcomings, flaws and violations" of Mr. Nikitin's rights during the investigative process. The human rights watchdog organization, Amnesty International, condemned the move on Tuesday, arguing that reopening the case would be a further attempt to stifle freedom of expression in Russia. Mr. Nikitin also says there are no grounds to reopen the case. /// NIKITIN ACT IN RUSSIAN - IN FULL, FADE UNDER /// He says, "No one should doubt that if I had actually committed a crime, they would have used the most strict measures to punish me." /// OPT /// Jon Gauslaa, a lawyer for Norway's Bellona Foundation, for whom Mr. Nikitin first published his environmental report, told reporters any re-examination of the case would simply mean dragging out the investigation in order to harass Mr. Nikitin indefinitely. /// GAUSLA ACT /// The Prosecutor General ignores totally that these violations were repaired by the acquittal, and his prescription for correcting this violation is to strongly fortify the violations of Nikitin's rights. Tomorrow, the case, the process against Mr. Nikitin, will have lasted one-thousand-764 days. /// END ACT /// /// END OPT /// While in Washington earlier this month, Mr. Nikitin said he believed the prosecutor's action was timed for maximum political effect, because the appeal meant he had to cut short his speaking tour in the West. (Signed) NEB/EC/WTW/JP 01-Aug-2000 11:01 AM LOC (01-Aug-2000 1501 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .