Captain and engineer acquitted in Nerpa submarine accident retrial
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VLADIVOSTOK, April 29 (RAPSI) – The Russian Pacific Fleet’s Military Court has acquitted Captain Dmitry Lavrentyev and Engineer Dmitry Grobov on trial for causing death of 20 by negligence on the Nerpa nuclear submarine in 2008. The ruling is based on the jury’s not guilty verdict that was passed last Friday.
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 extinguishing system malfunctioned, killing 20 of the 208 people on board and injuring 21.
Lavrentyev was charged with abuse of power and Grobov was accused of causing death by negligence. The jury acquitted both men on September 14, 2011. The Supreme Court's Military Board overturned the verdict in May 2012 and ordered a retrial.
On April 26, the new jury ruled that both men were innocent of all charges brought against them by the prosecutor's office. The prosecution has ten working days to file an appeal against the acquittal.
Defense lawyer Sergei Bondar told RIA Novosti that they hope the prosecution would not appeal against the decision or demand a retrial.
A military prosecutor told RIA Novosti earlier that they do not agree with the jury’s decision. He said that the jury did not understand all the details of the case clearly and were misled by the defense. The prosecution has said it will appeal against the ruling. They have until May 15 to do so.