Russian writer charged with distributing pornographic material

MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - The state prosecutor has filed a court request to formally convict, but not imprison writer Kirill Vorobev for distributing pornographic material, since the statute of limitations has expired, Vorobev's lawyer said Wednesday.

During the court hearing, the defense asked for his full acquittal. Vorobev, whose pen name is Bayan Shiryanov, has been accused by the prosecution of distributing pornography following the publication of his book Sredinny Pilotazh ("Mid-Altitude Pilotage") and wants a one-year prison term to appear on his record.

On August 19, Moscow's Basmanny Court resumed investigations into the charges that "certain passages of the novel Srediny Pilotazh contain pornographic elements."

Experts questioned in the court said the law makes no clear distinction between erotica and pornography, making it difficult to categorize the book.

During a court session Wednesday, Anatoly Baranov of the Russian Language Institute, and Justice Ministry medical examination official Anastasia Tsvetkova, were summoned for questioning. Vorobev's lawyer Alexander Glushenkov said the panel of experts had ruled that the book is not pornographic.

The court's verdict will be announced on August 25.

The statute of limitations for prosecuting pornography charges is 2 years in Russia.

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