15 Jan 2019 17:04

Moscow City Court upholds scientist Kudryavtsev's arrest

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) - The Moscow City Court has upheld the legality of the arrest of Viktor Kudryavtsev, a 75-year-old employee of the Central Research Institute for Machine-Building (TsNIIMash), until mid-March, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"The ruling of Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court shall remain unchanged, and the appeal shall be dismissed," the judge read from the ruling on Tuesday.

The hearing was held in camera, as the case is classified. In mid-December, the Lefortovsky District Court extended the scientist's arrest until March 20, for a total of eight months.

Kudryavtsev was charged with high treason (Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code).

According to his defense, the criminal case is over the handover of classified information in two emails in March and October 2013 from the city of Korolyov to Brussels' von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, with which TsNIIMash was cooperating on the FP7-SPACE program.

In its appeal, the defense requested that the appellate court overturn the decision of the first-instance court and impose a non-custodial measure of restraint on Kudryavtsev. Lawyers repeatedly said that his health is continuing to deteriorate.

Ivan Pavlov, the scientist's lawyer, told Interfax that investigators believe Kudryavtsev received assignments from the von Karman Institute "that allegedly went beyond the framework of the [TsNIIMash] project he was in charge of" and sent reports on research "that could be used in the creation of new weapons."

A Roscosmos specialist found that the messages contained secret information, Pavlov said.

Kudryavtsev has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyers said that he had not had access to classified information for over 20 years, that the FP7-Space program had been approved by the government, and that reports on it had been released to the public.

Pavlov told Interfax in mid-November that Kudryavtsev refused to take a plea deal: he had been offered mitigation of his measure of restraint in exchange for pleading guilty and giving testimony incriminating his student and colleague of high treason.

Kudryavtsev's arrest was reported on July 22, when members of the Public Monitoring Commission found him at Lefortovo. He is the oldest detainee there.

On December 18, Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court extended his arrest by three months, until March 20, 2019.