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Russia: Journalist Pasko Won't Ask Putin For Pardon


Vladivostok, 16 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Grigorii Pasko, the military journalist jailed on charges of treason against Russia, has said he will not ask President Vladimir Putin for an official pardon. Pasko thanked Putin earlier today for offering to consider issuing a pardon. But Pasko's lawyer later said that asking for a pardon would mean admitting guilt.

Pasko said in a statement that he is not guilty and will continue to struggle for a full acquittal through his appeal to a special committee of the Supreme Court.

Pasko was sentenced in December to four years in prison on high treason charges, for allegedly revealing Russian naval secrets to the Japanese media.

Pasko and his supporters say he was convicted for revealing environmental abuses by the Russian navy.

Putin said yesterday that he was prepared to "consider" a request for a presidential pardon if it were requested, according to ITAR-TASS. But he added that he considered the case "purely juridical."

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