Yushenkov's former assistant recollects his work with the killed deputy
A letter that was written by Sergey Yushenkov in April of the past year was exposed to the public eye in London yesterday. Sergey Yushenkov sent this letter to the Foreign Minister of Great Britain. In the letter, Yushenkov wrote about the danger of harsh violence on the part of Russian federal secret services.
Speaking about the violence, Yushenkov mentioned the case of Grigory Pasko: "An activist in the field of the environmental protection, Grigory Pasko was subjected to legal persecution and then sentenced to imprisonment for exposing the information about the illegal discharge of radioactive wastes. This occasion has been documented very well by human rights international organizations."
Reporter Grigory Pasko was sentenced at the end of February of 2003, but then he was released from jail ahead of the scheduled time. Pasko became Yushenkov's assistant. At that time, Sergey Yushenkov stated that Pasko would work on expert conclusions and draft laws pertaining to mass media, ecology, army and court reforms. Today Grigory Pasko recollects Sergey Yushenkov, who has been recently assassinated in Moscow. He gave an interview to a Bellona Web reporter on the phone from the city of Vladivostok:
"Unfortunately, we did not work together much. I became his assistant on February 25th. We had several meetings in the State Duma and on television. We discussed questions pertaining to the introduction of amendments to the Law "About the State Secret." We agreed that the military justice is supposed to stop its existence, at least in the form that it exists at the moment. Our work with Yushenkov was just getting started. He gave me a task to visit the factory Zvezda (Star) in the town of Bolshoy Kamen (Big Stone) in the Far East region.
“A large session for radiation security in the Russian Federation was to take place on September 9th. I collected materials for the meeting, talking to Yushenkov's other assistants, asking them, what might be necessary to have. I traveled to the town of Bolshoy Kamen on April 11th, I wanted to talk to the manager of the mentioned factory, to talk to him and to obtain a confirmation of the fact that the complex to unload spent fuel from nuclear submarines had was about to start working. A secretary took Sergey Yushenkov's letter from me, I was allowed to see the factory, but that was it, basically. The manager did not come to see me. I think that I will have to go there again.
"Who killed Sergey Yushenkov? I would like to remind here that FSB Major-General Alexander Mikhailov threatened Sergey Yushenkov directly on television, in the talk show Poedinok (Duel). Everyone saw and heard the general saying: "Mr. Yushenkov, we will take care of you later on." The deputy was killed on the day, when party Liberal Russia officially announced that its registration at the Ministry for Justice was completed. The party was ready for elections.
"I had an impression that Liberal Russia could achieve a certain progress at elections with the help of its chairmen - Sergey Yushenkov and Viktor Pokhmelkin. I doubt that the party could achieve something, if it did not have these leaders. In addition to that, even if the party failed at elections, I am sure that Yushenkov would defeat any candidacy in his district. It seemed to me that the financial position of the party was fine, although it is known that the party stopped its financial cooperation with oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Everyone was aware of the things that Yushenkov and his party did. He was not a politician of underground activities. Politics was public for him by definition. He never had any selfish interests."
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