In Russia, there are cities where trials are being carried out via videolink: Moscow, Novocibirsk, Chelyabinsk, and now Nizhny Novgorod.
This is due to the expensive cost of transfering prisoners from detention centers to the courts.
In two separate rooms, there are camera-recorders, microphones, personal computers, and TV sets. The first trials showed that the combination of up-to-date equipment with optical-fibre connections guarantee a good quality of the “picture.” In the nearest future, a similar “TV-bridge” will link the Nizhny Novgorod prison and the court building. Now, the final tests of the equipment are being carried out, which should be used to consider the complaints of the accused against the court’s decision.
Over 20 cases have already been heard via videolink. he introduction of new technology did not demand serious investments and only cost only about 200 thousand rubles (approximately $6,000), apportioned by the city administration from the budget. For the time being, only simple cases are being considered in this way, which do not demand the presence of additional eye-witnesses. However, it is very probable that, in the nearest future, the sentences will be not only pronounced, but also carried out via computer.
Yelena Kiseleva PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/31/42033.html