On 12 July in the city of Vladivostok another trial of journalist Grigoriy Pasko accused of the high treason began. The prosecution considers him guilty of spying for Japan.
At 10:00 sharp judge Kuvshinnikov accompanied by two assistants (ensigns of the frontier guard) entered the courtroom. Several petitions were announced, in particular, on conducting the phonoscopic expertise of Paskos voice. The petitions were followed by some appeals, among them the appeals of Sweden and Belarus PEN-centers, where they demanded to immediately stop the shameful trial over a journalist, who merely fulfilled his professional duties.
To some surprise of the audience, all the petitions were satisfied except the main one: Pasko demanded to call Kuroedov, the Commander-in-chief of the Russia Navy, as a witness. Yet, everybody understood that this demand was a fantastic whim. Pasko himself refused to give any evidence, declaring that he did not understand of what he was accused.
Journalists were permitted to be present at the opening of the trial. Then they were deleted from the courtroom, and the state prosecutor began to read the accusation. It seemed that this document (which Pasko refused to read) had not been read by the prosecutor too, since he stumbled during reading, especially of long foreign words. Upon the whole the happening resembled the well-known novel by Kataev, where a speaking cat tried its best to pronounce the word neocolonialism, could not do it and died in convulsions.
Pasko has been at large for two years, and all this virtual world full of figures, names, some documents, which were allegedly passed by someone to somebody, all these freight trains transporting used fuel, written off submarines, of which the prosecutor told the audience could impress the naive public.
We would like to comment several points of this top secret accusation act, which, by the way, is placed on many Internet sites. The main advantage of this new accusation act that it does not contain anything new. The accusation just hopes to stir the heap of the old garbage and throw it again at Paskos head. The only change is that some points are confirmed with expertise acts made within the native army system.
All accusations are rather fuzzy, they look approximately in such a way: somewhere someone saw in some unnamed place that Pasko attended the office Neichkey, talked with the bosses and passed some envelope. Even from the accusation act one can see that Pasko went to forbidden zones only with the permission of his commanders, or even by their direct orders. The damage inflicted to the state security of Russia is not defined and mentioned, and this evaluation is the main factor determining whether the case will be considered in court. Yet, according to Article 19 of the international agreement, Pasko had the right to pass the information on the potential ecological catastrophe to a neighboring country. A lot of Japanese journalist are mentioned in the case, but there are no concrete proofs that they are connected with Japanese security services. Their interest was purely professional, as well as Paskos, and it did not concern the secrets mentioned in the Russian law on state secrets. All the proofs are based on testimony of witnesses, and we know that this testimony was given under duress.
The train with nuclear waste was photographed by Pasko by the order of his commanders. It had to serve as a proof that Russia fulfills her international obligations. All Paskos articles were approved by the military censorship, even contrary to the law on mass media. The arguments against the accusation can be multiplied without end. The general conclusion is as follows: journalist Pasko worked on a new level, such that had intimidated the military before (and now too). This is the reason why the case was appeared. Another reason is that the security service of the Pacific Navy understood that they do not need such a journalist as Grigoriy Pasko. They had to warn other journalists: we will not permit you to work in SUCH a way.
A. Tkachenko, Novaya gazeta, Vladivostok, 16 July 2001
Source: a bulletin of the Union For chemical safety
All the bulletins are placed on the site www.index.org.ru/