The Court Session of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. opens on August 19, 1936 at 12:10 p.m. in the October Hall of the House of Trade Unions. The Court is presided over by Army Military Jurist V. V. Ulrich. Members of the Court: Army Corps Military Jurist I. O. Matulevich and Divisional Military Jurist I.I. Nikitchenko; reserve member of the Court: Divisional Military Jurist I.T. Golyakov; and secretary: Military Jurist of First Rank A.F. Kostyushko.
The prosecution is conducted by Comrade A.Y. Vyshinsky, State Attorney of the U.S.S.R. Andrei Vyshinsky (1883-1954), prosecutor, was also representative for the Soviet Union in the United Nations 1946-49.
The President, Comrade Ulrich, declares the session of the Court open, establishes the identity of the accused, and inquires of them whether they take exception to the composition of the Court or of the State Prosecution. After receiving the reply that there is no such objection, the President announces that all the accused having declined the services of counsel for defence, all rights of the defence are extended to them personally, i e., the right to put questions to the witnesses and to the other accused, to petition the Court in all matters of procedure, to deliver speeches in their own defence, etc. In addition to this, they retain the right of last pleas.
The Secretary of the Court reads the indictment.
In the case of G.E. Zinoviev, L.B. Kamenev, G.E. Evdokimov,I.N. Smirnov, I.P. Bakayev, V. A. Ter-Vaganyan, S. V. Mrachkovsky, E. A. Dreitzer, E. S. Holtzman, I. I. Reingold, R. V. Pickel, V. P. Olberg, K. B. Berman-Yurin, Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky), M. Lurye, and N. Lurye, accused of crimes covered by Articles 588, 19 and 588, 5811 of the Criminal Code of the R.S.F.S.R.
On Jan. 15-16, 1935, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. at a special session in the city of Leningrad tried the case of the underground counter-revolutionary group of Zinovievites calling itself the "Moscow centre," the principal leaders of which among the others convicted in that case were G .E. Zinoviev, L. B. Kamenev, G. E. Evdokimov and I. P. Bakayev.
The preliminary and the Court investigation of that case established that for a number of years this so-called "Moscow centre" guided the counter-revolutionary activities of diverse underground groups of Zinovievites, including the counter-revolutionary activities of the Leningrad group of Nikolayev-Kotolynov which on Dec. 1, 1934, foully murdered Comrade S. M. Kiro.
The trial established that the so-called "Moscow centre," being the ideological and political leader of the Leningrad group of Zinovievites, knew that this group was inclined towards terrorism and did all it could to fan this inclination.
This had to be admitted also by the accused Zinoviev and Kamenev, who denied that they took any part in the murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov, hypocritically stating at the trial that they bore only moral and political responsibility for the assassination of Comrade Kirov.
It now transpires that eighteen months ago, during the investigation of the case of the assassination of Comrade S. M. Kirov, the investigating and judicial authorities were not in possession of all the facts revealing the troe role of the Zinovievite leaders of the so-called "Moscow centre" on the one hand and the leaders of theTrotskyite underground organization on the other, in the whiteguard, terroristic undergraund activities.
On the strength of newly revealed circumstances ascertained by the investigating authorities in 1936 in connection with the discovery of a number of terrorist groups of Totskyites and Zinovievites, the investigation has established that Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev, who were convicted in the "Moscow centre" case, actually not only knew that their adherents in Leningrad were inclined towards terrorism, but were the direct organizers of the assassination of Comrade S. M. Kirov.
The investigation also established that Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev, and a number of other accused in present case, who will be mentioned later, were the initiators and organizers of attempts which were being prepared on the lives of other leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and of the Soviet Government as well.
The investigation has also established that the Zinovievites pursued their criminal terroristic practices in a direct bloc with the Trotskyites and with L. Trotsky, who is abroad.
These newly revealed circumstances establish without a doubt that:
1) At the end of 1932 the Trotskyite and Zinovievite groups united and formed a united centre consisting of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev (from the Zinovievites) and I. N. Smirnov, Ter-Vaganyan and Mrachkovsky (from the Trotskyites), all charged in the present case.
2) The principal condition for the union of these counterrevolutionary groups was their common recognition of individual terrorism against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government.
3) Precisely from that time onwards (end of 1932) the Trotskyites and Zinovievites, acting on direct instructions from L. Trotsky, received by the united centre through special agents, concentrated their hostile activities against the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government mainly on the organization of terrorism against the most prominent leaders of the Party and the Government.
4) With this end in view the united centre organized special terrorist groups, which prepared a number of practical measures for the assassination of Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Kirov, Orjonikidze, Zhdanov, Kossior, Postyshev and others.
5) One of these terrorist groups, consisting of Nikolayev, Rumyantsev, Mandelstamm, Levin, Kotolynov and others, who were convicted by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. on Dec. 28-29, 1934, carried out the foul murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov on Dec. 1, 1934, on the direct instructions from Zinoviev and L. Trotsky, and under the direct guidance of the united centre.