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THE WEEK AHEAD

MOSCOW : A Trying Situation

July 06, 1993

What promises to be the longest-running show in Moscow reopens Wednesday: the trial of 12 men accused of state treason for engineering the hard-line Soviet coup attempt of August, 1991.

The trial, which opened in mid-April, has recessed repeatedly, first because one of the aging defendants fell ill and later because the court accepted defendants' attempts to discredit the prosecution. They argued that all state prosecutors must obey Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov, who has already published a book on the coup attempt and could allegedly demand biased treatment from his subordinates.

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