A court martial held by the Pacific Fleet declared journalist Grigory Pasko guilty of espionage and sentenced him to a four-year imprisonment.
In November of 1997, Grigory Pasko was detained at the Vladivostok airport upon his arrival from Japan. During the first closed session of the court in July of 1999, Grigory Pasko was declared not guilty of espionage, and he was charged only with abuse of his official authorities. The journalist was sentenced to a three-year imprisonment, but was amnestied right in the court.
The military collegium of the Supreme Court considered that the espionage charge was commuted for a lighter one without any grounds during the suit. That is why the case was remitted for further inquiry.
During a repeat court session, Judge Advocate Alexander Kandakov offered to declare Grigory Pasko guilty of the transfer of confidential information to Japanese journalist Tadashi Aquino and to sentence him to a nine-year imprisonment.
There is no amicable treaty between Russia and Japan, which turned out to be the key argument of the judge advocate. Grigory Pasko and his attorneys expected that a verdict of “not guilty” would be brought against Pasko. The journalist was charged with five violations. The court declared him guilty of one only: the transfer of confidential information about the Pacific Fleet’s council of war of September 11, 1997 to the NHK Japanese journalist. The information concerned results of large-scale manoeuvres. Pasko had been present at the council without authorization and then transferred the information about the manoeuvres to the Japanese journalist.
Pasko’s attorney, Anatoly Pyshkin, says that the defence will try to appeal.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
In the photo: Grigory Pasko