Russian laser scientist dies 2 days after arrest: ‘He loved his country’ – National |

A Russian scientist who was arrested and taken to Siberia on suspicion of treason last week Moscow Despite suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, lawyers and a family member said on Sunday.

Physicist Dmitry Kolkar, 54, was taken from his hospital bed, where he was being fed through a tube, and bundled up on a more than four-hour flight to Moscow, where lawyers said He was taken to the Lefortovo prison and later died. A nearby hospital.

His cousin Anton Dianov told Reuters from the United States that the allegation against the laser specialist – that he had betrayed state secrets to China – was absurd.

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“He was a scientist, he loved his country, he was working in his home country despite numerous invitations from major universities and laboratories to work abroad. He was working in Russia. Wanted to work in I, he wanted to teach students there,” he said.

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“These charges are absolutely ridiculous and extremely cruel and unusual to be leveled against such a sick person. They knew he was on his deathbed and chose to arrest him.

The family and lawyers said Kolkar was taken into custody by the FSB Security Service and his house was searched. He said the sedition charges – which carry sentences of up to 20 years – were based on lectures given by Kolkar in China, even though the material was approved by the FSB.

Reuters did not respond to an emailed request for comment from the FSB.

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Lawyer Alexander Fedulov told Reuters he had attempted to contact authorities on Kolkar’s behalf, but he was removed from the FSB investigative department and jailed.

He said he would file a legal complaint on Monday regarding the circumstances of Kolkar’s detention.

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On Saturday, state news agency TASS said Russia had detained a second scientist in Novosibirsk on suspicion of state treason. It was not clear whether the two cases were linked.

Several Russian scientists have been arrested and charged with treason in recent years for allegedly giving sensitive material to foreigners. Critics of the Kremlin say the arrests often result from unfounded paranoia.

Dyanov, a cousin, said that Kolker was also a highly skilled concert pianist and organizer who performed in both Russia and Europe.

“For me, the one who was creating so many beautiful things couldn’t do what they accuse him of. And how am I going to remember him forever,” she said, fighting back tears. This is what Dima is to me and the rest of the family.”

(Reporting by Reuters Editing by Alexandra Hudson)