Submitted by Glen Aaron on July 8, 2011

Colonel George Trofimoff was tried and convicted of spying for the Soviets. He is the highest ranking U.S. army officer ever convicted.

Prosecutors use a rich basket of subtle tricks to influence juries. In Colonel Trofimoff’s trial it began early, by the very naming of the case. A KGB defector had given information that over a decade a spy or spies with code names “Antey”, “Markiz”, and “Konzul” had leaked classified documents to the Soviets. The defector, however, in no way named Trofimoff. It was important to the government’s case to connect Trofimoff to these code names.

For an early influence of the jury’s mind, the U.S. attorney styled the case: United States of America v. George Trofimoff, a/k/a George Von Trofimoff, a/k/a “Antey”, a/k/a “Markiz”, a/k/a “Konzul”. The influence being, without any evidence having been presented, that Col. Trofimoff was one-and-the-same as the code names.

I write of the trial and the government’s trial strategy in my book: “Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying”

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