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The Trial - Recap

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Dan picks up his briefing at an empty architect’s office and is informed that Josef Varsh, head of secret police and state prosecutor for an East European country, plans to frame an American and run a show trial both to embarrass the West and to gain more political power for himself. He’s opposed by Deputy Premier Kudnov, who has taken a pro-Western stance. The IMF must discredit Varsh.

Jim selects Rollin and Willy for the mission and explains the basic plan, that he’ll set himself up as the American that Varsh chooses to frame. He’ll use Lisa Goren, the wife of an undercover American agent who betrayed her husband to her lover Varsh.

Dan calls Lisa and makes it appear that he is a friend of her husband in the same business. He arranges a meeting with her at the bar of a local hotel and she tells Varsh. She goes to the bar with Varsh’s man Barsky watching, but Dan avoids making contact with her. While she’s out, Rollin breaks into her room and finds the letters and photos establishing her relationship with Varsh. He also checks the window that leads to a three-story drop to the street below. After Lisa leaves, Dan calls her room to warn Rollin, who leaves.

The next morning, Dan calls Lisa and arranges another meeting. Varsh and Barsky trace the call and determine that Dan is supposedly a scientist who has been running tests on farms all near the country’s primary hydro-electric dam. Barsky’s man follows Dan but he manages to lose him with some help from Willy. He picks up a briefcase from Rollin in another room at the hotel, and as he leaves Rollin finishes his mask of Dan’s face.

Rollin then goes to visit Lisa disguised as Dan. She asks him to wait while calling to warn Varsh. Meanwhile, Dan goes to visit Kudnov as a scientist and they discuss his tests. He is there at exactly nine p.m. and at the hotel, Rollin draws Lisa’s attention to the time. Varsh and Barsky arrive to arrest him and Rollin jumps out the window where Willy is waiting with a truck with a stunt man’s fall pad in the back. Varsh searches the room and finds microfilm photos of the dam and a key to a car containing explosives. The real Dan arrives and Varsh has him arrested.

Dan has a state defender appointed and Rollin joins him as an assistant attorney representing the U.S. The judge is sympathetic to Varsh and assures Barsky that everything will go smoothly. At the trial, Varsh presents an honest case, using the IMF-faked evidence. Rollin is allowed to cross-examine Lisa and get her to establish she was with Dan at 9 p.m. While Rollin tries to show that the state planted the government-manufactured evidence, Kudnov calls Varsh and says he will testify that Dan was with him at 9 p.m., clearing the American and humiliating Varsh. Varsh orders Barsky’s lieutenant to dispose of Kudnov that night. Rollin goes to see the deputy premier and warns him that Varsh plans to kill him. Rollin uses the shadow of a statuette on a turntable to draw the assassins’ fire, convincing Kudnov.

The next day, the prosecution rests its case and Varsh asks for the death penalty. Kudnov doesn’t show up and Varsh orders Barsky to find him. Rollin sees Willy take the place of one of the court guards and calls for a 30-minute recess. He goes to the restroom, knocks out Barsky’s man, and meets with Kudnov, wearing a janitor’s uniform.

Rollin returns to the courtroom… and takes the stand. The real Rollin then comes in and the first Rollin removes his mask to show that he’s Kudnov. Kudnov then testifies against Varsh and establishes Dan’s iron-clad alibi. The judge has no choice but to arrest Varsh and drop all of the charges against Dan.

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