Grime and Punishment
A Russian military and environmental journalist was acquitted yesterday of treason and espionage charges. Grigory Pasko was arrested and imprisoned in November 1997 after filing a report for a Japanese television station that purportedly showed Russian sailors dumping radioactive waste into the Sea of Japan. Prosecutors accused Pasko of selling military secrets, but Pasko says the charges were fabricated. Pasko’s case attracted attention from international human rights and environmental groups and became an embarrassment to the government. Russian enviros still have cause to fear authorities, however: The Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the KGB, recently raided the lab and home of Vladimir Soifer, a scientist who has investigated the problem of nuclear waste and storage in Russia, and the FSB is still pursuing a case against Alexander Nikitin, who helped a Norwegian enviro group document nuclear pollution by the Russian military.