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#15 - JRL 7263
International passport refusal to Pasko confirmed by court

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) - Moscow's Lyublinsky Court has confirmed the legitimacy of the Moscow visa and registration department's (OVIR) refusal to grant military journalist Grigory Pasko an international passport.

Pasko told Interfax on Thursday that the court explained its ruling by the fact that his release from prison on parole cannot be considered as a complete release.

Pasko said that he intended to go abroad following a number of invitations from environmental and public organizations, including Reporters Sans Frontieres and Amnesty International.

The third OVIR department in the city's southeast, where the journalist applied for an international passport, refused to issue the document. They cited an instruction from the Moscow Interior Department's passport and visa service that "a person's release on parole from prison does not mean that he has been released completely."

The journalist plans to appeal the Lyublinsky Court's ruling with the Moscow City Court.

The Ussuriisk City Court ruled on January 23, 2003, to release Pasko on parole, as he had already served two-thirds of his sentence.

On December 25, 2001, the Pacific Fleet's military court convicted the journalist of treason in the form of espionage and sentenced him to four years in a high-security prison.

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