Friday, October 25, 2013

Mendel Beilis -- The Colonel and the Investigator

This is the summary of the 19th day of the Mendel Beilis trial, which occurred on 13 October, 1913 on the Julian calendar, 20 October, 1913 on the Gregorian calendar.  It is the last day when witnesses will testify to facts about the murder.  From here to day 28 is all expert testimony.

This day occupies pages 95 through 142 of Volume II of the transcript.

See the translation of the transcript for day 19.

Today the two officials who worked the case from beginning to end testify.   They are also the only survivors from among all those who rejected the ritual murder theory.

A witness with information about Kozachenko and the forged letter fails to show up, although he took the oath.  Vipper disingenuously pretends that because the name is spelled Kazachenko, it is about somebody completely unknown to the court.  This is false. 
  • The indictment spells Kozachenko’s name Kazachenko and from the text, it is clear that this is the man who helped forge Beilis’ name to the letter. 
  • In the indictment both spellings are used. 
  • The Kazachenko spelling is used on day 4 with direct reference to the letter. 
  • The deposition of Kozachenko was read on day 7, and in the transcript his name is spelled Kazachenko. 
  • This same individual, with the name spelled the same way, is discussed with Dudman on day 10. 
Later today Grigorevich-Barsky does a shrewd thing.  He asks Ivanov about Kozachenko’s information.  Ivanov doesn’t ask “who’s that,” he says that Kozachenko’s information varied in reliability.  Grigorevich-Barsky pronounces the name in such a way that the stenographer writes down both spellings.  So Ivanov simultaneously hands Vipper a slap in the face, and confirms that Kozachenko was a government spy.  That sheds a whole new light on him offering to carry the letter for Beilis.

Ivanov says an interesting thing while Grigorevich-Barsky is questioning him.  Grigorevich-Barsky points out that at the time Rudzinsky confessed to Shechko about the murder, Brazul-Brushkovsky’s article accusing him had not yet come out, so that there were no public accusations against him yet.  Ivanov says, “but the prisoners knew.”  What did they know?  That there were accusations against him?  Krasovsky could have told him that in 1911.  Did the prisoners know that he had committed the murder – like Krymovsky – or did they only know about accusations?

Today Ivanov puts the flyers to bed.  They were distributed at the funeral, showing that the anti-Semites wanted Jewish blood before there could be any proof of ritual murder.  Ivanov was brought a copy by a policeman, and authenticated a copy shown him by the defense.  He identified Nikolay Andreevich Pavlovich, a member of the Black Hundreds, as the distributor.

Yablonsky summarizes Vera: “When she tells the truth she lies and if she talks in her sleep, she’s probably lying then, too.”  He gets a laugh by saying that Brazul shouldn’t have set the meeting with Vera for a restaurant, because it could have compromised her (spoiled her reputation) in the eyes of the world.  But this is day 19 and if Yablonsky missed her testimony, he wouldn’t have known about all her lies or how she attacked that little cat Chernyakova in the middle of the courtroom.

Late in the day Maklakov points out that the government has mismanaged the entire case, without putting it exactly in those words.  If nothing about Cheberyak has anything to do with Yushchinsky’s murder, then no testimony about Cheberyak should have been allowed in the case.  And since the government has admitted that information, and also that Cheberyak was associated with a gang of thieves, in fact with a large one, then it is pertinent to the case how gangs of thieves act.  The question Boldyrev is trying to keep out is whether Krasovsky has knowledge of any given case – any set of facts – associated with how thieves deal with betrayal.  Boldyrev pretends that this is a case of expertise and should be asked of the forensic physicians, but what he is trying to do is salvage some last shred of pretense that the case has anything to do with Beilis at all, which the preceding 18 days of testimony have gradually reduced to simply having him in the courtroom.

Vipper has certificate trouble today.  The judge rejects attaching an improperly filled-out certificate about an Israel Landau living in Kiev to the case.  Vipper pretends that it is the father of Samoil Landau and the latter lied in saying his father was dead.  This is the second time the judge has turned down this certificate.  But he authorizes reading out a certificate showing that Fyodor Nazarenko was in jail when Andrey was murdered.  The other day Vipper castigated Kirichenko, suggesting the only reason Kirichenko focused on Cheberyak’s gang was that they were out of jail at the time.  Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.  If Nazarenko couldn't have committed the murder because he was in jail, Cheberyak’s gang could have committed the murder since they were out of jail.  The testimony has shown that the case against Beilis was faked by police agents like Kozachenko and Polishchuk, so Cheberyak’s gang are the only valid suspects.

Today the prosecution tries to claim that Margolin was lying about being in Kharkov at all by deliberately misreading the hotel register.  If Margolin wasn’t in Kharkov, then he couldn’t have been involved in any offer of 40,000 to Vera, which would have discredited both him and Gruzenberg whom Margolin helped bring in as the lead attorney in Beilis’ defense. 

Ivanov gets caught with his certificates down.  First he weasel-words an answer to suggest that he didn’t find something he was looking for, when he never claimed he looked for it.  Then he admits he asked the police for certificates as to whether Brazul’s, Vygranov’s, and Cheberyak’s presence in Kharkov was registered with the police, but he didn’t ask about Margolin, so his claim that he didn’t get that information also falls to the ground.

Without realizing it, Zamyslovsky points out that it was an error to let Golubev testify at all relative to the record of examination of the locality.  The record is an official document and cannot be questioned without evidence of its incorrectness.  The only evidence Golubev had was his own unwitnessed examination at a different point in time, which is irrelevant.  The judge told Gruzenberg he could ask Fenenko about it.  Zamyslovsky is out of order and the judge eventually says so. 

Judge:  Fyodor Boldyrev

            Criminal Prosecutor, Oscar Vipper
            Civil Prosecutor Georgy Zamyslovsky
            Private Civil Prosecutor Aleksey Shmakov

            Oscar Gruzenberg
Nikolay Karabchevsky
Dmitry Grigorevich-Barsky
Alexandr Zarudny
Vasily Maklakov
To "The Doctors"

Ekaterina Maslash
Defends Beilis’ character
A.A. Yablonsky
At Rootsa with Vera
Non-appearing, illegal
Would have helped prove Kozachenko’s letter a forgery
Pavel A. Ivanov
Lt. Col. of Gendarmes
(secret police)
Verifies Kozachenko police agent
Authenticates Pavlovich’s flyers
Arnold Davidovich Margolin
Recalled about Kharkov trip
Vasily Ivanovich Fenenko
Forensic investigator
In 1911
Deputy prosecutor
Nikolay Aleksandrovich Krasovsky
Testifies about tree carving


© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved


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