According to informed sources, FSB-Major Aleksandr Egorkin was – several days before the conviction of Pasko – awarded for his ‘distinguished work’ on the Pasko case. The award was presented at a party held on December 17 to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the FSB. It came despite the fact that Egorkin was reprimanded for committing several law violations while he was in charge of the investigation of the case.
Glasses raised at the FSB
At the same party, the FSB branch of the Russian Far East celebrated the departure of their old boss and their successes in 2001. When the new chief raised his glass in order to make a toast for the ‘victory’ in the Pasko-case, his new subordinates reminded him that the case was still handled by the courts, and that no decision had been made.
— Wait until next Tuesday, then all will be dropped into a cocked hat, said the resigning FSB-boss, before the ‘checkists’ clinked their glasses.
Pasko got another hint that his conviction had been anticipated when he arrived in handcuffs at the detention centre in Vladivostok on December 25. — We have been awaiting you, said the director of the detention centre, who told Pasko that they had been notified about his ‘arrival’ several weeks before the verdict was announced.
Glasses installed in prison cell
On the more positive side can be noted that glass has been installed the window of Pasko’s cell. The installation came after a meeting between Pasko’s attorney, Ivan Pavlov, and the speaker of the Russian Federation Council, Sergeiy Mironov. The latter was told that Pasko was placed in a cell without glasses in the window, despite temperatures in Vladivostok having fallen way below the freezing point.
Mironov apparently discussed Pasko’s case with President Putin last weekend. Yet there is no reason to believe that Grigory will be released in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s hearing of his appeal, said Ivan Pavlov to Bellona web. — Several signals may however, indicate that the proceedings have been speeded up so that we would not have to wait very long for the hearing of the appeal case.
Pavlov, who arrived in Vladivostok on January 13 in order to go through the protocol of the trial and file a more detailed appeal, also told that he had met Pasko. — He feels good and is ready to fight, Pavlov said.
Grigory Pasko was arrested on November 20, 1997. He was acquitted by the Pacific Fleet Court in Vladivostok of treason through espionage on July 20, 1999, but sentenced to a three-year imprisonment for misusing his position and released on a general amnesty.
Both sides appealed the verdict. In November 2000 the Military Supreme Court cancelled the verdict, and sent the case back for a new trial at the Pacific Fleet Court. The re-trial started on July 11, 2001 and ended on December 25, with Pasko being convicted to four years of hard labour for treason and taken into custody. Amnesty International adopted Pasko as a prisoner of conscience on January 7, 2002, saying that the prosecution of Pasko seems “motivated by political reprisal for exposing the practice of dumping nuclear waste”. Also the latest decision has been appealed by both sides.