The Newsletter of
A Center for Coordination
Moscow, Russia -- Issue 7(22) - special,
IN THIS ISSUE:
GRIGORY PASKO CASE - SECRET SERVICES STRIKE BACK
The military court in Vladivostok finds Grigory Pasko guilty of high
treason. The decision is based
on secret military decree recently declared as illegal and invalid by the
Russian Supreme Court.
Grigory Pasko was convicted for four years in labour camp on high treason
charges on December 25th.
The Pacific Fleet Military Court in Vladivostok said in the verdict that
Pasko had the intention to
pass over to a Japanese journalist a classified document. The 20 months he
has earlier spent in
custody reduce the overall term down to two years and four months.
The document in question were handwritten notes Pasko made at a meeting of
the Military Council of
the Pacific Fleet. Pasko was present there as a reporter from Pacific
Fleet's newspaper, the Battle
Watch, and intended to write an article on this event.
Originally, the charges against Pasko included ten items of allegedly
classified information that
he, according to the prosecution, intended to pass over to the Japanese
journalists. The prosecutor
in the case dismissed five of the ten documents Pasko was charged with. The
judge today dismissed
four more documents leaving only the handwritten notes.
Pasko's attorneys have already appealed the verdict to the Military
Collegium of the Russian Supreme
Pasko was taken to custody in the courtroom. He will stay in confinement
until the appeal is
considered in the Supreme Court. It may take as long as one year before the
Supreme Court considers
Earlier in the process, a group of experts from the 8th Department of the
Defence Ministry said the
documents in the Pasko case, including the handwritten notes, contained
state secrets. The experts
based their findings on secret military decree 055:96, which stipulates
information pertaining to
the state secrets. The use of the decree as the basis for the case violates
article 15 (3) of the
Russian Constitution, according to which unpublished normative acts cannot
be used for prosecuting a
person. In addition the Russian Supreme Court declared on November 6th 2001
the decree as "illegal
and invalid" because it was not registered in accordance with the law. This
ruling has reached legal
force, but it did not deter the court to convict Pasko based on the decree.
Moreover, almost 95% of the 'evidence' in the case are gathered illegally,
including the part of the
case which describes the intention to pass over the handwritten notes.
No appeal for pardon
Prior to the conviction of Grigory Pasko Sergey Mironov, the speaker of the
Federation Council, the
upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said that Pasko was innocent but,
due to unreformed
judicial system in Russia, it would be hard to prove the opposite. Mr
Mironov 'advised' Pasko to
appeal the Russian President for pardon, should he be convicted. Mr Mironov
was recently appointed
by President Putin to head the Federation Council.
Pasko's defence attorneys said today that Pasko had no plans appealing the
Russian President for
pardon since he did not consider himself guilty of any crimes. Observers
believe that the statement
by Mr Mironov was a way-out proposal for Pasko in order not to offend the
Russian Security Police,
or the FSB.
The head of the FSB in the Russian Pacific Fleet congratulated a week before
the conviction of Pasko
at the Chekist Day, holyday of the Russian Security Police, his staff with
successful completion of
the Pasko case. In other words, he knew that Pasko would be convicted
The court session today was open for public. But the public was mainly
consisting of military
personnel in uniforms. An old trick used by the KGB in the Soviet times.
Grigory Pasko was an investigative reporter with Boyevaya Vakhta, or the
Battle Watch, a newspaper
run by the Pacific Fleet. He was arrested in November 1997 and charged with
high treason. He spent
20 months in custody, before being acquitted in July 1999. He was however,
convicted of abuse of his
official authority, but released under an amnesty. The verdict was appealed
by both sides. On
November 21, 2000, the Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court
cancelled the first verdict
and sent the case back to a new trial in Vladivostok.
Igor Kudrik, Bellona
Dear colleagues and friends!
Next trial will be hopefully in 4 months. But nobody knows for sure.
Now we should ACT to influence the court decision!
What YOU CAN DO to support Russian journalist and ecologist Pasko
* Question sharply about the case any Russian official of any level
especially in the media and
other countries official presence
* Picket, boycott or do other public demonstration of your concern about the
case at the visit of
Russian officials to your country or before the official Russian entities at
* As a tax payer of developed country express your concern to your
Government and Parliament through
media, letter, request or public demonstration about your money in a form of
international aid going
to Russia and supporting non-democratic regime
You can also send your letters and faxes of support to:
Supreme Court of the Russian Federation
121069 Moscow Russia Povarskaya 15
fax: + 7-095-293-55-84
Moscow, Staraya ploschad' 4
Fax: +7 095-206-07-66
We would appreciate your contribution to the campaign!
You can support Grigory by providining links from your sites to Grigory
And the last.
We will win, friends, in any case! We will win together!
Be Happy in 2002!
Back to SEU Times home page
This issue was written and complied by
Sviatoslav Zabelin - the SEU Council Co-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olga Berlova, Victoria Kolesnikova email@example.com