But Internal Issues Also Guided Moscow
Special to The New York Times
MOSCOW, Dec. 31 — Early this week, the French Arnbassador, Roger Seydoux, metwith a high-ranking Soviet official to express Francés´ unhappiness with the death sentences meted out in Leningrad and the hope that they would be cominuted.
Mr. Seydoux was only one of many representativas of foreign governments and Communist parties to appeal to the Kremlin, publicly and privately, to commute the sentences. The decisión of the Russian Federation Supreme Court today to spare the lives of Mark. Y Dymshits and Eduard S. Kuznetsov indicated that world concern over the trial played a role in the Government´s policy.
But Western diplómate here —and several Soviet observers —believe that the world furor was not the only reason for the clemency. They believe that Soviet leaders were just as concerned with the effect that executions would have not only on many of the three million Soviet Jews but also on the country´s liberal, scientific and cultural intelligentsia, who are sensitive to injustice in their own country.
There would be no widespread protest to stíff prisoncamp térras for the planned hijacking, the observers felt, but execution, for what must have been a bumbling plan would have aroused suspicions and anger.
Moreover, some Western of-ficials say that the Soviet authorities had to acknowledge that the facts in the case did not warrant the death penalty, as much as Tass, the official press agency, has said they did. It was olear that the K.G.B. or secret pólice, knew about the hijacking plan well in advance and arrested the plotíers even before they got on the plañe.
If Mr. Dyiashits and Mr. Kuznetsov had been executed, ít would have been much more difñcult for Soviet leaders to win much support for persecuted liberáis and radicáis abroad.
The decisión to commute the sentences was pmbably taken shortly »fter the Leningrad trial ended. If Moscow had any doubt about doing so, the decisión by Geranissimo Francisco Franc t spare the six domed Basques in Spain made the commutation here that much more likely.