Law enforcers may have detained several TsNIIMash employees - source
MOSCOW. July 21 (Interfax) - Law enforcement officers who conducted searches as part of a treason inquiry have led several people out of the building of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash), a source in Russia's United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) told Interfax, adding that these people may have been detained.
"Some employees of the institute walked out of the building accompanied by plainclothes officers and left in an unknown direction. It is not ruled out that they may have been interrogated and detained," the source said.
The director of the analytical center at the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Paison, has not been detained, he said.
"Paison has not been detained. He is at home," the source said.
His status has not yet been determined, he said.
"It is quite probable that he will be a witness," the source said.
The newspaper Kommersant reported earlier that Paison may have become a suspect in a treason case.
For his part, an informed source in the industry told Interfax that investigators have not brought any charges against Paison.
"No charges have been filed against Paison so far. He may be given the status of high-value witness," the source said.
A URSC source, for his part, said that Paison has not left Russia.
Paison himself has refused to comment on the investigation.
"I'm refraining from making any comments on that score," he told Interfax by phone.
Another URSC source told Interfax earlier that Paison had no access to classified projects.
"Paison personally had no access to top secret data related to hypersonic developments. He did not personally attend such meetings," the source said.
There could be other suspects in this case, as well, the source said.
"There could be several people. Paison is possibly not the principal suspect," he said.
Kommersant reported earlier that on Friday morning Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) investigators began searching the offices of TsNIIMash employees and also Paison's office.
"According to the information available to Kommersant, these searches are taking place as part of a criminal case opened on treason charges (Article 275 of the Russian Penal Code). The FSB is now investigating around ten people from the industry for their possible collaboration with Western special services: according to Kommersant, the FSB has established that these people obtained access to the results of top secret hypersonic developments in Russian industry," the newspaper said.