Monday, October 21, 2013

Mendel Beilis -- Krasovsky and Margolin

This is the summary of the 14th day of the Mendel Beilis trial, which occurred on 8 October, 1913 on the Julian calendar, 21 October, 1913 on the Gregorian calendar.

This day occupies pages 531 through 586 of Volume I of the transcript.

 See the translation of the transcript for day 14.

This continues Arnold Margolin’s testimony.

The only reason it does is because, while the defense declines to question him, the prosecution ignores that they are giving the defense an opportunity to follow up, and they proceed to open up lines of inquiry that the defense didn’t have previously.  Lines of questioning bad for the government theory.

One piece of information that went under everybody’s radar.  Margolin testifies to seeing a picture of investigator Mashkevich, who worked the Yushchinsky case, with Vygranov, the “fired detective” who went around in a student’s jacket.  Why such a photo would be taken, or published in a newspaper as Margolin says it was, is a real mystery because a government official doesn’t ordinarily go around having his picture taken with somebody who has been disgraced.  Krasovsky will give another clue to this relationship in a couple of days.  For now, think back and realize what a pervasive influence Vygranov has had on all the investigations.  You will see more of this.  So why did the government let him leave Kiev the day before the trial began, and not read a deposition from him during the factual witness phase of the trial?

Vipper cross-questions Krasovsky and hovers on the precipice of depicting Krasovsky as unworthy of the trust placed in him.  It would be all of a piece with Vipper’s apparent ignorance of the case history, if he did not realize that Chaplinsky called Krasovsky in specifically; he might assume it was Brandorf, who refused to support the ritual murder accusation from the start.  He might also be ignoring or underestimating that the Black Hundreds, fervent supporters of the ritual murder case, endorsed bringing Krasovsky in.  Or he might believe at this point that the Black Hundreds have abandoned Krasovsky for declaring Beilis not guilty by looking at the real evidence, and proclaiming the guilt of Cheberyak who was not a Jewess, despite her standing well or not with the Black Hundreds.

Vipper continues his misstatements.  It’s hard to assess why: attempts to mislead witnesses into a trap – but he never springs the correct information on them; attempts to confuse the jurors into supporting a murder conviction; loss of interest as a conviction may be proving increasingly unlikely; exhaustion from all the late nights.  Today he questions Krasovsky about words used by Margolin; he identifies Beilis’ arrest date as March 3 instead of July 23; and he apparently believes that Krasovsky began his investigation based on the ritual murder theory that the government pretended it was keeping to itself for the first year of the case, so it could pretend that the charge grew out of the evidence instead of from government edicts.  He asked Brazul a similar question yesterday.

Zamyslovsky also has a prime moment in this part of the testimony.  He gets Krasovsky completely on the run about the grimirovka.  If he actually said that the bearded Luka couldn’t be the man Yashchenko saw, that would be drawing a conclusion and Boldyrev would tell him not to do that. 
Staking his career as he is on pursuing false charges, Zamyslovsky also believes he operates in a legal system that does not put people in jail unless and until there is evidence against them.  On the contrary, Russia could and would run people into jail so as to conveniently lay hands on them to interrogate them.  Beilis was in jail in May, according to Krasovsky’s testimony, for exactly this reason. 

Zamyslovsky has Krasovsky talk about the forged evidence found on Yurkovsky Hill and suggest that somebody in the police department forged it.  Mishchuk has been tried and acquitted of this through the evidence of Kushnir, a petty thief who actually had his hands on the evidence and put it into the ground.  This is being blamed on Governor Girs offering 500 rubles -- about half a year’s salary -- to the detective who gets the information that puts the case to bed.  Of course either Zamyslovsky is being disingenuous and knows that the government planted the evidence, or he is walking on the edge of a cliff, just as Vipper did earlier in the day by suggesting that Krasovsky was incompetent.  Then Zamyslovsky continues on, claiming that Krasovsky was accused of paying people to commit perjury; either Zamyslovsky doesn’t know or he is keeping to himself that various witnesses against Beilis were paid in one way or another for false testimony.

By the end of this day it becomes clear that Krasovsky, like Brazul-Brushkovsky, let Vygranov lead him by the nose.  Krasovsky apparently believed whatever the Dyakonova sisters told him, and Ekaterina may be the one who led him to believe that Andrey’s body lay three days in Vera’s apartment.  If he believed she left it in the shed on the property that she had a lock on, that would be one thing, but he has it lying in  Vera’s own bedroom.  Dyakonova had been given up by Ivanov at the end of 1911 as unreliable and stupid.   Dyakonova was in touch with Vygranov throughout 1912 the same as Cheberyak seemed to be from the moment she left jail under Chaplinsky's protection in 1911. 

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
Arnold Davidovich Margolin
Nikolay Aleksandrovich Krasovsky
Lead detective on investigation in 1911


© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved


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