Spy-trial novelist told to have psychiatric tests

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The Independent Online
A Russian Foreign Ministry official accused of passing secrets to British diplomats was ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment, after which, if he was fit, he would have to see through his trial for treason. The lawyer for Platon Obukhov, 28, arguing that his client had long suffered from schizophrenia and could not be held responsible for his actions, called for the charge to be dropped. But the prosecutor said Mr Obukhov, who had had a promising career and published best-selling spy novels on the side, had only developed a "reactive psychosis" after the shock of his arrest in April 1996.

Helen Womack - Moscow

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