Brezhnev Kin Admits Abuse of His Office
Yuri Churbanov, son-in-law of the late Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev, pleaded guilty today to charges that he abused his office as a top Interior Ministry official. Churbanov, however, told a military tribunal that he was innocent of the capital crime of accepting bribes.
On the fourth day of a trial taken up almost entirely by the reading of 1,500 pages worth of corruption charges against Churbanov and eight co-defendants, Judge Mikhail Marov asked Churbanov if he understood the charges.
“Yes, they were understood,” Churbanov replied, standing before the court. “I admit my guilt in abuse of office but don’t admit my guilt in receiving bribes.”
Churbanov’s lawyer, Andrei M. Makarov, told a reporter that punishment for abuse of office is 10 years in jail. If convicted of bribery, Churbanov could face a firing squad.
Makarov told a reporter that he would not clarify the plea yet, and that the explanation would come out during the rest of the trial, which is expected to last about two months. Today, however, was the last day foreign reporters were permitted to attend the trial.