MOSCOW, July 4 — A renowned Russian scientist with terminal cancer died two days after being taken from his hospital bed on espionage charges, his family said on Sunday.
Dmitry Kolker, 54, died on Saturday in a Moscow hospital.
He had been transferred to the hospital from a prison in the capital, according to a message from the authorities published by his son, Maxim Kolker, on the social network VKontakte.
Two days earlier, a court in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk said Kolker had been arrested and remanded in custody for two months.
The court said he was accused of “state treason” and “espionage” for a “foreign state”, a crime punishable by 20 years in prison.
His family says he was arrested by security service (FSB) agents at a clinic in Novosibirsk where he was being treated for terminal cancer, then transferred to Moscow, despite his state of health.
“The FSB killed my father, they knew what state he was in, but they took him out of the hospital,” Maxim Kolker wrote on VKontakte on Sunday.
“Thank you my country!!! His family didn’t even have permission to say goodbye to him,” he added.
A specialist in lasers, Kolker headed a laboratory on “quantum and optical technologies”, according to Novosibirsk State University’s website. According to his son, he was suspected of espionage after participating in an international conference in China.
During this conference, he said, he was permanently accompanied by an FSB agent to ensure he did not give away any sensitive information.
In Russia, scientists are regularly accused and convicted of espionage. — AFP