is this you? Claim your profile.
is this you? Claim your profile.
+ Get 10 Free Contacts a Month
It's free and takes 30 seconds
The Chronicle Local News Blog
Among the players interviewed were prosecutor Paul Hora, defense attorneys William Du Bois and Richard Tamor, Wired reporter Josh Davis (serving as a consultant for 48 hours), Ellen Doren, Irina Sharanova, Assistant Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan and six jurors (three of whom spoke on camera), some relatives of Hans Reiser.
The Chronicle Local News Blog
Among the players interviewed were prosecutor Paul Hora, defense attorneys William Du Bois and Richard Tamor, Wired reporter Josh Davis (serving as a consultant for 48 hours), Ellen Doren, Irina Sharanova, Assistant Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan and six jurors (three of whom spoke on camera), some relatives of Hans Reiser.Sharanova testified that she never brought up the issue of his mother but only talked about her if he had questions or brought up the topic first.
Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova, will be back on the stand when the trial resumes on Wednesday, Feb. 13.Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother, is on the stand.Sharanova, 59, currently has custody of the Reiser children and lives in St. Petersburg, Russia.A Russian translator is sitting next to Sharanova on the stand."A little," Sharanova said in English with a smile."But not enough to testify?""Yes," Sharanova said.Sharanova confirmed that she lives in St. Petersburg with her husband, Herman Lavrentiev, and her two grandchildren, the Reiser children.Hora wondered if Sharanova could "solve a mystery" for him -- does she know a Herman Layrentiev, spelled with a y? (The defense had sought to raise questions about the identity of a man by that name who co-signed a Chase Bank credit card for Nina Reiser). "V," Sharanova corrected in English.She confirmed that her husband co-signed the Chase Bank account.Sharanova said she has been a gynecologist in Russia for 30 years.Her husband has been a dentist for more than 20 years.Sharanova bit her lip and took a moment to compose herself after Hora asked her how many children she had."One daughter," she said."Are you OK to continue?"Hora asked as Sharanova nodded yes and put on her glasses.Sharanova and Vladimir were no longer a couple by the time their daughter was 5, she said.Five years after the separation, when her daughter was 10, Sharanova married Lavrentiev.Sharanova dabbed at her eyes with a tissue as Hora continued to ask basic background questions.Nina Reiser studied obstetrics and gynecology at a medical university through an internship, Sharanova said.Instead, Reiser got together with Nina, Sharanova said.In August 1998, Hans Reiser returned to the U.S., but the two stayed in touch by phone and by mail, Sharanova said.Asked by Hora if her daughter and Hans Reiser appeared to be in love at that time, Sharanova said, "I can only speak about Nina, and I know she was in love."Sharanova said she couldn't attend the wedding."They didn't really invite us," she said of "whoever was putting the wedding on."Sharanova said she learned her daughter was pregnant in February 1999.Sharanova said she kept in regular contact with her daughter.Most of their conversations centered around her pregnancy "because everyone was awaiting this child," Sharanova said."Were you excited?""Of course," Sharanova said. Nina gave birth to her son on Sept. 28, 1999 in Oakland, Sharanova said.Sharanova began weeping and dabbing at her eyes after Hora brought out a framed portrait of her daughter and grandson, a picture the jury has seen a number of times before.Sharanova again grew emotional."She loves them and she loved them.From day one, they were beautiful children, very smart children," she said.Sharanova said she visited the U.S. once in 2004 and twice in 2005 during monthlong trips.Nina filed for divorce in September 2004, Sharanova said.Sharanova said she spoke to her daughter frequently, about a couple times a week in 2006."We were very interested in the children and how they were doing, their accomplishments, what was going on with Nina, Nina's work and how the money situation was for them," Sharanova said.Hora asked if Nina had talked to her about things that were going on in her life, and Sharanova said yes."She was telling me everything," Sharanova said.Sharanova paused and looked down several times."We were very close," she said.She tried to regain her composure and sipped from a cup of water.As everyone waited, Sharanova continued to sip from the cup.She dabbed at her eyes and nose with a tissue and kept her eyes in a downward gaze.When the attorneys returned, Hora asked Sharanova if Nina had discussed that she wanted to become a licensed doctor in the U.S. "Yes.She tried several times and she continued to and she would have succeeded," Sharanova said. Nina discussed her financial situation with Sharanova in 2006.She had to get a job, because she couldn't anymore borrow (money) and Hans wasn't helping her and wasn't giving any support to the children," Sharanova said, adding she would ask her daughter how much money she had.The inspector is now getting Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova, to the stand.Sharanova is the DA's last witness.12:17 p.m. It's lunch time.After Brock is done, we will hear from Nina Reiser's mother Irina Sharanova.There were more reporters in the gallery today because of Sharanova's expected testimony.Du Bois made a reference to the expected testimony of Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova.Sharanova answered, but "there was nothing on the other end."Fong confirmed to Hora that Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova, failed to return to the United States from Russia with the two Reiser children on Jan. 14, 2007, as had been ordered by a family court judge.The judge agreed to allow Sharanova to continue to have custody of the Reiser children.Fong said the agency simply recommended that Sharanova retain custody, regardless of whether she was living in Russia or the U.S.Prosecutor Paul Hora played for jurors recordings of several messages that Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova, made to Hans Reiser's cell phone after her daughter disappeared.On one message, Sharanova said, "I don't know what happened to Nina."And as a matter of fact, did Irina have a round-trip ticket at the time you made this request to travel?Or just a one-way ticket?""So actually, at the time this order was granted, no one knew that Irina even had a round-trip ticket, isn't that correct, other than what was said?""What was it that made you think that Irina would ever bring the children back to the United States?"When the three emerged, the judge said the parties had stipulated that on Dec. 5, 2006, a judge received paperwork from Fong that said social services had no problems with Sharanova taking the Reiser children to Russia for the holidays.On that day, Fong testified, as did then-Oakland police Officer Ryan Gill, Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother; and Beverly Palmer, Hans Reiser's mother, Fong said.On Dec. 5, the judge received paperwork from Fong that said social services had no problems with Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova, took the Reiser children to Russia for the holidays, Fong said.But by Jan. 24, 2007, the date of the next child-custody hearing, Sharanova had not returned with the children to the U.S.By Feb. 22, 2007, the court finally decided that the county will have jurisdiction over the Reiser children, Fong said.The only question that remains is where they will be placed, she said.As of that date, the children were still in Russia, Fong said.On March 28, 2007, there's yet another hearing, and the children are still in Russia, Fong said.The judge ordered that the children be made dependents of the court."The court takes jurisdiction of them and the court basically placed the children with the maternal grandmother, Irina Sharanova," Fong said."The court approved placement" with Sharanova, Fong said.According to prosecutor Paul Hora, the man who was a co-signer on Nina Reiser's Chase Bank credit-card account was none other than Herman Lavrentiev, Nina Reiser's stepfather (married to Irina Sharanova), otherwise known as Hans Reiser's father-in-law.Sharanova will testify later in the trial.Police also interviewed Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother, Weisenberg said.
The Chronicle Local News Blog
Among the players interviewed were prosecutor Paul Hora, defense attorneys William Du Bois and Richard Tamor, Wired reporter Josh Davis (serving as a consultant for 48 hours), Ellen Doren, Irina Sharanova, Assistant Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan and six jurors (three of whom spoke on camera), some relatives of Hans Reiser.Sharanova testified that she never brought up the issue of his mother but only talked about her if he had questions or brought up the topic first.Du Bois told jurors that the testimony of the Reisers' son, now 8, has been tainted by his maternal grandmother, Irina Sharanova, prosecutors, police and social workers.Sharanova and other family members told the boy that Hans had "hided" or "hid" Nina, Du Bois said.Du Bois said Hora cultivated a relationship with Nina's mother, Irina Sharanova.Sharanova also lied when she denied coaching her grandson as to what to say, the defense attorney said.Sharanova was "lying on multiple occasions while testifying under oath," Du Bois said.You think Nina -- Sharanova?
The Chronicle Local News Blog
3:02 p.m. Defense attorney William Du Bois wrapped up his cross of Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother.Sharanova sighed as she left the stand with the interpreter.Irina Sharanova and her translator left the courtroom with Alameda County DA's Inspector Bruce Brock.Sharanova did not acknowledge Ramon Reiser, Hans Reiser's father, who was still sitting in the hallway and may testify on Tuesday.Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother, confirmed to defense attorney William Du Bois that Sean Sturgeon, once Hans Reiser's best friend, proposed to Nina.Sharanova noted, "But Sean Sturgeon was not the reason for their divorce."Sharanova said in general, her daughter "didn't talk about the divorce with Hans."Sharanova said it was Sturgeon's proposal of marriage.Du Bois asked Sharanova whether her daughter intended to marry boyfriend Anthony Zografos.Sharanova said by the time Nina was with Zografos, her relationship with Sturgeon had ended.Sharanova asked."There was nothing particular that happened, no," Sharanova said.Du Bois asked if Zografos had been jealous and suspicious of Nina, and Sharanova said yes."She did not worry about it," Sharanova said.Du Bois asked if Nina had said she could manage Hans."Every woman hopes for the best," Sharanova said."Yes," but that didn't apply during the last two years, when Hans was "aggressive and possessive," Sharanova said."He didn't follow her," Sharanova said.Sharanova responded that the boy would bring things up like his parents were "constantly quarreling" and that Hans was "screaming" at Nina.Sharanova said the boy has a vivid imagination and that this may have been said in the presence of social workers.Du Bois asked why the boy reported that Sharanova told him not to say that she had talked with him about the case." I cannot explain it," she replied."I don't have an answer for that."Du Bois asked if just before the boy came to testify that he and Sharanova went online to read about the case.Sharanova said the boy cannot get on the Internet by himself.Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother, is back on the stand on cross.11:01 a.m. Defense attorney William Du Bois is continuing his cross-examination of Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother.Du Bois is quizzing Sharanova about when her daughter met his client and Nina's medical background in Russia.Sharanova sighed."Then I must have misunderstood," she said.Sharanova pressed back, repeating her previous testimony.Du Bois asked Sharanova, "Why did Nina apply to marriage agencies in 1998?" "It's one of the ways of finding a prince," Sharanova said evenly."Is this common in Russia or Russian women to.."Sharanova did some mental math."24," she said."There was several girls and they must have found the time to do it," Sharanova said, adding that when people are young, they find time to do things."Maybe overseas princes are better," Sharanova offered."They are pretty green in Europe as well," Sharanova parried.Sharanova said her daughter spoke German and English fluently and had plenty of opportunities to go to these countries.Sharanova said the entry was included without Nina's permission."She was against it," Sharanova said. "No, that's not true," Sharanova said.And that's why there's no way possible it could have happened like that," Sharanova said.Sharanova agreed on all counts."I don't know what you're putting into this question," Sharanova said.She said the situation for doctors in Russia "was and remains pretty stable."Du Bois asked if there were "lots of men in Russia who have money," and Sharanova said, "Probably, yes.""Only love," Sharanova responded. Du Bois was about to ask another question, but Sharanova added something under her breath.The translator said Sharanova had added, "Unfortunately.""She never had that as a goal," Sharanova said."I think anybody who ends up in a different country tries to know the ways of life," Sharanova said."Vague," Hora said, but the judge said Sharanova could try to answer it."Every wife hopes like that," Sharanova said.6:45 a.m. Irina Sharanova, Nina Reiser's mother, will be back on the stand this morning.We will start a little late (about 10:30 a.m.) because Sharanova's translator has another matter to attend to before the session.3:37 p.m. Defense attorney William Du Bois has started to cross-examine Nina Reiser's mother, Irina Sharanova.Sharanova said to avoid traumatizing her grandson, she never brought up the subject.She said she'd ask him questions only if he brought it up first."Yes, this was very difficult, because I would always start crying," Sharanova said.She said her e-mail described "many, many conversations that (her grandson) started."Du Bois asked more questions about what she meant in her e-mail to Hora."I think it's very clear in this letter," she said at one point."I can't add anything to it."Du Bois asked another question about her e-mail, and Sharanova replied, "I think it's written very clearly."That's something you can ask Mr. Hora, Sharanova responded. "Yes," Sharanova responded to Du Bois' question about her honesty.She said while she had the proper paperwork to take the children to Russia, she didn't have similar papers for their return to the United States. (When the boy didn't return to continue testifying at the preliminary hearing, then-prosecuting attorney Greg Dolge and Du Bois told Judge Julie Conger that the boy was under the care of a Russian therapist who recommended that he not return to the United States on the grounds that he is traumatized by the presumed slaying of his mother).Nina sought to get Russian citizenship for her children shortly after each was born, Sharanova said.Du Bois asked Sharanova a series of questions about getting Russian citizenship, passports and the like."It's the same thing," Sharanova said.If one is seeking Russian passports it's assumed that the people in question are Russian citizens, she said with a smile.Irina Sharanova is back on the stand, still on direct.Hora asked if Sharanova had set that up or if Nina Reiser's best friend, Ellen Doren, and Doren's husband did that.Sharanova said for the most part, she arranged it.Under the agreement, "we gave them a chance to look around our house and take pictures," Sharanova said. Sharanova said her grandson has had trouble sleeping."He was very often asking questions -- who was looking for her, how they were looking for her -- and he had his own suppositions about the case, and it as very difficult for us to answer those questions," Sharanova said.She confirmed that she questioned her grandson further about the picture and then e-mailed Hora the boy's responses.She said her grandson drew many pictures but that she only sent him the one in question because she believed it was important.In an e-mail to Hora, Sharanova wrote, "Dear Paul, I tried asking (my grandson) what he remembers and he told me he does not remember a lot.