Russian Admiral Suchkov Convicted for Sub Deaths

Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the admiral as head of the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet shortly after the submarine, which was being towed to a scrapyard to have its nuclear reactors removed, sank in the Barents Sea last August.

Nine of the ten crewmen died when a storm ripped the pontoons from the boat; only two of the bodies were recovered.

Admiral Suchkov pleaded not guilty to the charge of negligence, and his lawyers said he would appeal. The Russian Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov has said Northern Fleet commanders disregarded safety rules, but some blame him for failing to improve the navy's degrading condition.

The catastrophe further eroded the Russian Navy?s prestige, which was already under fire after the August, 2000 sinking of the ?Kursk? nuclear submarine, which killed the entire 118-man crew.