Scientist, Charged With Divulging State Secrets, Faces 10 Years Imprisonment
Russian authorities have charged a Russian scientist with divulging state secrets to a South Korean manufacturer of car wheels, sparking fears among rights activists that the move is part of a politically-motivated campaign by security forces. Professor Oscar A. Kaibyshev, 66, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Metals Superplasticity Problems, faces 10 years in prison for illegally exporting technology and research to a subsidiary of South Koreas Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co.
“This is not secret work,” Dr. Kaibyshev reportedly stated from his home in central Russia’s Ufa. “All this technology and the scientific basis of this technology was published. We worked openly. All our contracts were official.”
Dr. Kaibyshev, who founded the institute in 1985, was charged and then suspended from his post on 18 February 2005.
The International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, which was designed to help former Soviet military scientists convert their work to civilian use, has also funded a book co-written by Kaibyshev that will be published in the United States next month. In addition to Russia, the program is funded by the United States, the European Union, Norway and Japan.
According to the scientist's attorney, Yuri Gevis, the exact foundation of the charges against Kaibyshev remains secret. He said the FSB, the domestic successor to the Soviet KGB secret police service, began investigating Kaibyshev in 2003.
In recent years, the FSB has pursued a number of cases against scientists, environmentalists and journalists, an endeavour labelled "spy mania" by the New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch. Physicist Valentin Danilov was sentenced to 14 years in prison (please see related NEAR Alerts) for passing what were alleged to be state secrets about satellite technology to China. Igor Sutyagin, (please refer to related NEAR Alerts) a scholar at the Institute for the Study of the United States and Canada in Moscow, received a 15-year sentence for selling information to a British company
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Alert - Russia
|Date:||22 February 2005|
|Source:||Moscow News / Washington Post|
|Affected Persons:||Oskar Kaibyshev|
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