Russia to Begin Jury Trials in November

<i> Associated Press</i>

After two years of stalling by hard-line lawmakers and prosecutors, Russia will reintroduce jury trials in some courts this fall for the first time since 1917, a senior official said Tuesday.

Parliament endorsed the idea of jury trials in the fall of 1991, during the flood of political reforms that followed the abortive August, 1991, coup.

But opposition from some lawmakers and Prosecutor General Valentin G. Stepankov prevented the reform from being put into effect until now, said Sergei Pashin, head of the government’s Department of Judicial Reforms.

He said the change has nothing to do with President Boris N. Yeltsin’s decree dissolving Parliament last week. Rather, Pashin said, it stems from a compromise he negotiated this summer with the prosecutor’s office. He said jury trials will be introduced gradually starting Nov. 1.