Pasko-trial postponed to December 24

Publish date: December 7, 2001

Written by: Jon Gauslaa

Prosecutor Aleksandr Kondakov was supposed to deliver his closing speech in the Pacific Fleet Court today. He has however fallen ill and the Court had to make yet another postponement.

Today’s court session in Vladivostok sprang yet another surprise, as prosecutor Aleksandr Kondakov did not show up at the Pacific Fleet courthouse this morning.

Nothing was delivered
The Court was supposed to announce that the investigative part of the trial was finalised, and then give the floor to the prosecutor so that he could deliver his closing speech.

It turned out that nothing was delivered.

The reason was that Kondakov had fallen ill on a so far unknown diagnosis. It is however, not a ‘fake illness’ in order to further delay the trial. Kondakov is hospitalised. – He did not look well at all, told journalist Viktor Tereshkin, who visited him at the hospital.

– I did however, wish him a speedy recovery, Tereshkin added.

Trial postponed to December 24
Tereshkin had every reason to do so, as the further progress of the trial will depend on the speed of Kondakov’s recovery. The trial has temporarily been postponed to December 24. At the time of writing it is however, unclear if Kondakov then will be able to appear in Court.

The Court will therefore in the nearest days examine whether or not a new prosecutor will have to take over from where Kondakov left. This question may be clarified at the next court session, which is scheduled for December 13.

As most Russian prosecutors seems to limit their closing speeches to a recitation of the indictment, such a task should be executable. It is however, reason to believe that if a new prosecutor has to step in, the trial may well be postponed for several months.

Journalist Grigory Pasko was arrested on November 20, 1997 on charges of espionage on behalf of the Japanese TV-channel NHK. He was acquitted in July 1999, but convicted of ‘abuse of official authority’ and freed under an amnesty. Seeking a full acquittal, Pasko appealed, but so did the prosecution, insisting he was a spy. On November 21, 2000 the Military Supreme Court sent the case back for a re-trial at the Pacific Fleet Court, where the re-trial has been going on since July 11, 2001.