Powers Case

CourtObsolete Court (USSR)
Date19 August 1960
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Supreme Court, Military Collegium.1
Powers Case.

State territory In general Sovereignty over the air Violation of foreign air space For purposes of espionage The law of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Facts (as stated by the Court).On May 1, 1960, at 5 hours 36 minutes, Moscow time, a military unit of the Soviet antiaircraft defence in the area of the city of Kirovabad, the Tajik S.S.R., at an altitude of 20,000 metres, unattainable for planes of the civil air fleet, spotted an unknown aircraft violating the State frontier of the U.S.S.R.

The military units of the Soviet anti-aircraft defence vigilantly followed the behaviour of the plane as it flew over major industrial centres and important objectives, and only when the intruder plane had penetrated 2,000 kilometres into Soviet territory and the evil purpose of the flight, fraught with disastrous consequences for world peace in an age of thermonuclear weapons, became absolutely obvious, a battery of ground-to-air missiles brought the aggressor plane down in the area of Sverdlovsk at 8 hours 53 minutes as ordered by the Soviet Government.

The pilot of the plane baled out and was apprehended upon landing. On interrogation, he gave his name as Francis Gary Powers, citizen of the United States of America. Examination of the wreckage of the plane which had been brought down showed that it was of American make, specially designed for high altitude flights and fitted with various equipment for espionage reconnaissance tasks.

In view of this, the pilot Powers was arrested and committed for trial on charges of espionage against the Soviet Union.

During the court hearings, the defendant Powers testified in detail about his espionage activity and the circumstances connected with the violation of Soviet air space on May 1, 1960.

In 1950 Powers volunteered for the American army, completed his training at an Air Force school, and served as pilot at various United States Air Force bases with the rank of Senior Lieutenant.

In April 1956, Powers was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States for special intelligence missions in high-altitude aircraft.

After he had concluded a secret contract with the United States Central Intelligence Agency for a term of two years, Powers was allotted a high salary of 2,500 dollars a month for espionage activity. He underwent special training and was assigned to the intelligence air detachment under the code name of Ten-Ten, stationed at the American-Turkish war base of Incirlik, near the town of Adana, in Turkey.

The Court has established that the detachment Ten-Ten is a special combination of the United States military and civilian intelligence designed for espionage against the Soviet Union with the help of reconnaissance planes sent into Soviet air space.

Starting with 1956 Powers systematically flew on espionage missions along the Soviet Union's frontiers with Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, on orders from the Ten-Ten detachment's commander. In May 1958, Powers renewed his secret contract with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States for a term of two years, and in January 1960 for yet another year.

The Materials of the case and the testimony of defendant Powers have established that the criminal intrusion into the air space of the Soviet Union, committed by him on May 1, 1960, was carefully prepared long before it took place.

On April 27, 1960, Powers, together with the commander of the detachment Ten-Ten, the American Colonel Shelton and a group of technical personnel intended for preparing the U2 plane for its flight, were brought in a United States Air Force transport aircraft from the Incirlik base to the Peshawar airport in Pakistan.

Another pilot ferried the U2 plane in which Powers was to violate...

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