13 Nov 2018 19:05

Signatures of those who endorsed scientist Kudryavtsev's release from jail handed over to presidential administration, FSB, Supreme Court - lawyer

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) - Human rights activists have handed over the signatures under the appeal for the release of 75-year-old scientist Viktor Kudryavtsev, an employee of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIIMash), who is charged with high treason, to the presidential administration, the Federal Security Service (FSB), and the chairman of the Supreme Court.

"The appeal was sent to the presidential administration and the FSB via the online submission forms. At the moment of the handover, over 107,000 people have demanded that my client be released from a pre-trial detention facility, because staying there seriously damages the health of the person, who has not been declared guilty by a court yet," the scientist's lawyer, Team 29 head Ivan Pavlov, told Interfax.

The same appeal was mailed to the Supreme Court, he said.

"We fear that in the pre-trial detention facility Kudryavtsev may not live to see the court," Pavlov said.

The open letter dubbed "Release 75-year-old scientist Viktor Kudryavtsev from a pre-trial detention facility!" demanding that a measure of restraint imposed on Kudryavtsev be changed and that he be released from the pre-trial detention facility under house arrest or on travel restrictions was published on October 23.

Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alekseyeva, molecular scientist Tatiana Birshtein, filmmaker Vladimir Mirzoyev, journalists Sergei Parkhomenko and Zoya Svetova, as well as 37 other human rights activists, figures of culture and science, signed the letter.

Following it, the letter was posted as a petition on the Change.org website and over 107,000 people have signed it by November 13.

Kudryavtsev is charged with high treason.

According to the defense, the criminal case concerns the provision of "certain" secret data by email in two messages of March 2013 and October 2013 sent from the city of Korolyov to the von Karman Institute in Brussels, with which TsNIImash was working on the FP7-SPACE program.

Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer for the scientist and the head of the association Team 29, 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 letters contained secret information, Pavlov said.

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

His arrest was reported on July 22, and members of Moscow's Public Monitoring Commission found him at the Lefortovo detention facility. He is the oldest detainee there.