New York Times 14. Nov. 1978


Around the Nation

19 Acquitted of Trespassing In Minnesota Power Case

BUFFALO, Minn., Nov. 13 (AP) -Nineteen persons were found not guilty today of trespassing charges in a case that became a cause in the human rights dispute between the Soviet Union and the United States.

The jury of three men and three women returned the verdict after about six hours of deliberation. The defense attorney, Kenneth Tilsen, said: "The jury obviously decided that power line property not private property and that people have a right to express themselves on important social issues."

The 19 opponents of the 427-mile power line were arrested and charged with trespassing on Oct. 29 at a substation in Delano. One of those charged was the folksinger, Dean Reed, whose songs have become popular in the Soviet Union.

Tass, the Soviet press agency, covered the trial, and said Mr. Reed's only offense was his "active struggle" for political prisioners in the United States.

Tass called President Carter's human rights stand "hypocritical" because of protesters such as Mr. Reed.

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