The Tass news agency accused "certain organs of the American press" yesterday of trying to pressure Soviet courts on the eve of the trials of dissident figures Anatoli Scahransky and Alexander Ginzburg.
Tass said the unspecified U.S. newspapers, "evidently reflecting the opinion of certain circles in the U.S. administration," are trying "at any cost to impose on the world public their distorted views of the trials."
The agency said that this effort to "put pressure on the courses of the forthcoming criminal proceedings" constituted interference in the "internal affairs" of the Soviet Union.
"So far as we know," the Tass commentary said, "persons attempting to influence the course of justice in the United States are liable to be prosecuted under the law."
Western governments and human rights organizations, as well as many Western newspapers, have decried the trials of Scharansky, accused of treason by espionage, and Ginzburg, charged with anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.
The two trials are to begin today, Scharansky's under unusual state efforts to control information, and Ginzburg's in the provincial city of Kaluga, which is difficult to reach.
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance has sharply criticized the trials and President Carter had canceled a high-level visit to Moscow of U.S. scientists as a sign of official displeasure.
Scharansky's wife, Avital, spoke in Israel yesterday to rally support for her husband. Scharansky, 30, a computer technician, was jailed March 15, 1977, and in June of that year was charged with treason under Article 64 of the Soviet criminal code, a crime punishable by death.
A Jew, he had applied in 1973 for permission to emigrate to Israel and was denied on grounds of state security. He had workedat a petroleum research institute. In 1974, he married Natasha Shtieglitz (who now calls herself Avital) one day before she was to leave for Israel. Further attempts by Scharansky to join her were rebuffed by the government.
His activism on the part of other Jewish "refusedniks," or those refused to emigrate, permission soon expanded to embrace the goals of others - human rights activists seeking to publicize allegations of Soviet repression of dissidents, nationalists, religious believers and others with objections to the ideology of the government.
Scharansky signed the 1976 declaration of the founders of a monitoring committee to check Soviet compliance with the human rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki agreement on European cooperation and security.
Scharansky became an important figure in that group because of his excellent English enabled him to commemerate easily with foreign correspondents. The nature of the case against him is unprecedented in recent years here.
Ginzburg, 41, and in poor health, has challenged the government through most of his adult life. He published an underground poetry journal in the late 1950s and in 1960 was arrested and convicted of forging an examination pass. He was sentenced to the maximum two years imprisonment.
After he was released, he found a job at a state museum, but following the widely publicized trial of dissenting writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky in 1966, Ginzburg helped publish material on their case in a collection that became known as the "White Book."
Ginzburg was arrested with three others, tried and convicted of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda, the same charge he now faces. He served five years in a labor camp in Mordovia, south of Moscow, and while there was allowed to marry Trina Zholkovskaya, a Moscow State University language teacher. It was his first marriage and her second.
When freed, he was forced to live apart of his wife, in Tarusa, about 60 miles from her Moscow apartment.
Through mutual friends, he had become a friend of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning author who was finally forced into exile after a long period of government repression. Ginzburg became administrator of a relief fund for political prisoners financed chiefly from Western royalties from Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Architpelago," the acclaimed study of Stalinera labor camps.
It has been said that more than $360,000 was distributed by the fund up to the time of Ginzburg's arrest March 7, 1977. He also became a member of the group set up in 1976 by Yuri Orlov to monitor Soviet compliance with the human rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki accords.
Orlov has been convicted of anti-Soviet propaganda and sentenced to seven years in prison and five internal exile. Because of his prior conviction, Ginzburg now faces a 10-year prison sentence for the same charge.
Ginzburg is a Russian and a "strong Russian Orthodox believer," according to his wife. Born the son of an architect named Sergei Chizhov, Ginzburg took his Jewish mother's surname as a protest against Stalin era anti-Semitism.
He and his wife have two children, Alexander, 5, and Alexei, 3.