Supreme Court Cancels Not Guilty Verdict for Nerpa Sub Crew

The military collegium of the Russian Supreme Court on Friday cancelled a not guilty verdict for the captain and a sailor of a nuclear submarine, where a deadly gas leak killed 20 people in 2008.


A court martial in Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok acquitted the two men last October on the basis of the jury verdict.


“The criminal case was sent for retrial in the same court, but with new judges,” the Pacific Fleet military prosecutors’ office said.


More than 200 people were onboard the Nerpa attack submarine during sea trials in the Sea of Japan in November 2008 when fire-suppressant gas mixture was released. Another 21 people were injured in Russia’s worst naval accident since the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000.


The Nerpa’s captain, Dmitry Lavrentyev, and engineer Dmitry Grobov, who allegedly activated the sub’s fire safety system “without authorization and for no reason,” have been charged with negligence.


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