The group of liberals, democrats and reformers (LDR) in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed their great concern about journalist Grigory Pasko's prison sentence that has been left in force by the Supreme Court of Russia. This is according to Alexander Shishlov, a member of Russia's delegation at PACE, Deputy Chairman of the LDR group and a member of the Yabloko faction in Russia's State Duma. In their statement, the members of the LDR group say, 'Pasko's is a political case, an instance of spy mania. We believe this case is a manifestation of there being a serious threat to the freedom of opinions and press in Russia'.
The members of the LDR group are certain that 'Russia's authorities should reconsider the case of Grigory Pasko and free and exonerate him in the nearest future'.
On June 25, 2002, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of Russia insignificantly modified and largerly left in force the prison sentence military journalist Grigoru Pasko received from the Court of Russia's Pacific Fleet. Grigory Pasko had been found guilty of spying for Japan and sentenced to spend 4 years in a high security prison.
The 90 members of the LDR group of PACE represent 30 countries. The group is the third largest in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969