VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — A military court sentenced military journalist Grigory M. Pasko today to four years in prison for treason in the form of espionage and stripped him of his rank.
Pasko was accused of divulging state secrets on the combat-readiness of Russia's Pacific Fleet to Japanese media.
Pasko, who already spent 20 months in custody after being convicted on the same charges in an earlier trial, will have to serve the remaining 28 months, Judge Dmitry Savushkin said.
Pasko was put under arrest immediately after the sentencing.
The court found Pasko guilty of illegally attending a secret meeting of Pacific Fleet commanders in 1997 and possessing notes about it.
In his first trial, in 1999, Pasko was acquitted of treason but found guilty on lesser charges of abuse of office. He appealed, seeking a full acquittal, and prosecutors also appealed. Russia's Supreme Court sent the case back to trial in Vladivostok with a different judge.
Pasko and his supporters maintain that the charges are retribution for his reports of alleged environmental abuses by the navy, including dumping radioactive waste into the sea.