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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Issues Subpoena To Chemist

A closed court on Tuesday issued a subpoena to force Vil Mirzayanov, the chemist accused of revealing state secrets about Russia's chemical warfare program, to appear in court after he refused to attend his trial.

Contacted at his home on the outskirts of Moscow, Mirzayanov, 59, said he had refused to attend the second day of his trial after the judge on Monday rejected his contention that the case violates Russia's new constitution.

In a statement issued after the court's decision, Mirzayanov said that because he believed the court had violated the constitution, he had "no choice" but to stop taking part in its proceedings.

"This case makes a farce of the whole constitution," Andrei Mironov, a human rights activist closely connected with Mirzayanov's case, said in an interview.

Mirzayanov, who could be sentenced to eight years in prison if convicted, alleged in several articles that Russia had continued chemical weapons tests and experiments even after President Boris Yeltsin committed the country to observe a test ban.

Mirzayanov's supporters maintain that because he is charged under a law that has not been made public and his trial is being held in closed session, the trial breaches fundamental rights.