Grigory Pasko: Strasbourg Decides on First Russian Spy Case

moiseev101108The European Court of Human Rights has satisfied the application of former deputy director of the first department of Asia of the MFA of Russia Valentin Moiseyev, sentenced by the Moscow City Court in the year 2001 for state treason to 4.5 years of deprivation of liberty with confiscation of property. Valentin Moiseyev was taken into custody in July of the year 1998. They had brought charges of espionage in favor of South Korea against him. The FSB accused Moiseyev of having supposedly worked for the special services of South Korea from the year 1994 through the year 1998, passing on to them information comprising a state secret. According to the data of the investigation, he had conducted around 60 meetings with a representative of South Korean intelligence and had «passed on to him copies of 23 documents» concerning cooperation between the RF and the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], including in the military sphere. And had gotten 14 thousand dollars for all this. According to the arithmetic of the FSB, that comes out to 608 dollars per document. Moiseyev himself declared that he had maintained amicable relations with representatives of the embassy of Korea, while the passed on materials had been earlier published in a series of newspapers and other open sources. And that in actuality this is not secret materials, but a scholarly lecture “The Policy of Russia on the Korean peninsula”.

In December of the year 1999, the Moscow City Court found the former diplomat guilty and sentenced him to 12 years of deprivation of liberty. The data cited in the attached official publications of the press and in scholarly works, were ruled by the court to be secret.After the announcement of the verdict Moiseyev’s lawyers filed in the Supreme Court of the RF a cassational appeal, in which they demanded that a series of violations of the Criminal Code be found during the issuance of the verdict. In part, in the appeal was indicated that in the charges figured episodes belonging to the year 1992, but that the verdict for Moiseyev had been issued under an article of the new Criminal Code, which had entered into force in the year 1996. Exactly the same kind of – to put it mildly – substitutions in the application of legislation the Russian chekists applied too in the case of former officer of the Military Marine Fleet [Navy—Trans.] Alexander Nikitin [and in the case of the journalist Grigory Pasko—Ed.] Besides this, in the opinion of lawyers, during the course of the investigation had been allowed a series of violations of procedural legislation, including also during the detaining of the advisor to the South Korean embassy to whom Moiseyev had passed on information. From 14 March of the year 2002 by decision of the GUIN [Main Administration for the Execution of Punishments, the direct descendant of GULag—Trans.] of the Ministry of Justice Moiseyev served punishment in a hospital in Torzhok. Was released on 31 December of the year 2002.After release Moiseyev declared that he intends to continue to strive for the finding of him not guilty and submitted an application to the Strasbourg court.And now here the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has found Moiseyev’s application lawful and has held that the powers of Russia had violated articles of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing the establishment of the condition of detention of a prisoner, the right to a fair trial, the setting of punishment exclusively on the basis of the law, as well as the right to respect for personal and family life.In the end the Court obligated Russia to pay the applicant monetary compensation in the amount of €28.9 thousand, as well as to cover court costs.It should be noted that the «Moiseyev case» – is the first of the Russian so-called spy cases that has been heard by the Strasbourg court on its merits. [Next in line stands the case of the journalist Grigory Pasko, which has already been ruled admissible for consideration.—Ed.]