Pasko gets support

Publish date: June 2, 2001

Written by: Jon Gauslaa

Two representatives of the New York-based 'Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) have arrived in Vladivostok to support Grigory Pasko for his upcoming trial.

CPJ is an independent, non-profit organisation that works to safeguard press freedom around the world. Its board member Peter Arnett and its Europe program consultant Emma Gray arrived in Vladivostok on June 1 to show support for Pasko. – We are here to demonstrate our solidarity with Grigory Pasko and to demand justice for him, Arnett said. And we will support him until justice is done.

Arnett and Gray plan to accompany Pasko and his lawyers to the Pacific Fleet Courthouse at 10 AM on Monday June 4 for the scheduled start of the trial. At 5 PM the same afternoon, they will take part in a press conference with Pasko’s lawyers at “Dom Zhurnalista” at Okeanskii Prospekt 90 in the centre of Vladivostok.

Pasko is charged with espionage for leaking information to the Japanese TV-channel NHK about nuclear safety issues in the Russian Pacific Fleet. He was acquitted for espionage on July 20, 1999, but convicted to three years for ‘abuse of official authority’ and released on an amnesty because he had served 20 months in pre-trial detention. The Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court cancelled this verdict on November 21, 2000, and sent the case back to Vladivostok for a new hearing of the espionage charges. Observers have considered this decision as a negative signal regarding the independence ofthe Russian judiciary.