Admiral testifies in Pasko’s favour

Publish date: August 30, 2001

Written by: Jon Gauslaa

The defence-team continues to score points in the Pasko-trial. Meanwhile, the prosecutor's dissatisfaction with the frankness of the defenders seems to increase.

On August 27, the Court examined the details of the search at Pasko’s flat. The search took place on November 21, 1997 at a time when Pasko already had been arrested. Pasko’s wife, Galina Morozova, told the Court about various violations committed by the investigators throughout the search. Thus, she fortified the impression of a search carried out under dubious and downright illegal circumstances. In the near future, the defence will launch a separate protest regarding these issues.

Admiral supports Pasko

Admiral Ivan Moiseyenko took the witness stand on August 28 and gave a testimony very much in Pasko’s favour. Moiseyenko had known Pasko for many years and read his articles with great interest. Pasko had given an excellent coverage of the environmental situation in the Pacific Fleet, the admiral said.

One of the key points in the charges against Pasko is that he has released information on the decommissioning of missies and thus, has committed treason. The admiral reputiated this, and said that he personnally had allowed Pasko to visit the base where the decommissioning took place and also had shown him the process of the decommissioning. He also denied that Pasko’s articles had brought any damage to the State. On the contrary, both the funds allocated for the base and the decommissioning of missiles had increased after the articles were published. Besides, the personnel of the base started to get salary again.

The admiral also rejected the allegation in the charges that the base was located in a closed area. The base is covered by international treaties on arms reduction and thus, American military representatives come to the base each year to check it, he said.

Warnings from the prosecutor

After the Court meeting, prosecutor Aleksandr Kondakov expressed his dissatisfaction with co-defender Ivan Pavlov’s frankness with the press.

If this was meant as a warning is not known. It is, however, not the first time that Mr. Kondakov has made remarks that could be understood this way. Only a few days ago he for instance addressed journalist Viktor Tereshkin with an enigmatic smile: — You will not survive till the end of the trial in our climate, no you won’t.

Expert examination under way

The experts from Moscow who are supposed to examine whether there are state secrets or not in the materials that allegedly were confiscated at the search of Pasko’s flat, started their work yesterday and are expected to continue well into next week.

Environmental journalist Grigory Pasko was accused with espionage by the Russian Security Police in November 1997. He was acqutted by the Court of the Russian Pacific Fleet on July 20, 1999, but was in stead convicted for ‘abuse of official authority’ – a crime that he was not accused with. The Military Supreme Court cancelled the verdict on November 22, 2000, and sent the case to a re-trial at the Pacific Fleet Court. The re-trial started on July 11, 2001 and may continue until early October.