NEW YORK, SEPT. 1 -- Cable News Network, ABC News and NBC News all said today they will not buy Soviet-offered film footage of the trial of the young West German who landed his light plane in Red Square in Moscow last May.
CBS News had said Monday that it rejected the offer for the footage, which would not have been made available until after the trial of the German pilot, Mathias Rust, 19. His trial starts Wednesday in Moscow.
Excerpts of the Soviet film coverage of the trial, plus a 25-minute interview of Rust in a Soviet prison, had been offered to the major American networks for $100,000 or more. The offer came through an American company representing Soviet state television, Orbita Technologies Corp.
Despite its rejection of the Soviet offer, NBC News, which last May paid $3,000 to a tourist for his videotape of Rust's flight around and subsequent landing in Red Square, said it still might be interested in buying still footage of Rust or segments of his prison interview.
"We said we'd like to take a look at that," an NBC News spokesman said.
Soviet officials have said that no foreign television crews will be allowed to film or videotape Rust's trial, although 25 foreign correspondents will be allowed to cover it.
Rust, whose headline-making flight in a single-engine Cessna led to a major shake-up of top Soviet military leaders, is charged with violating international air regulations, entering the Soviet Union illegally and "malicious hooliganism."