Russian Court Sentences Esteemed Scientist to 14 Years for Alleged Treason

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.22 - 2024 9:32 AM CET

World
Photo: United Press Service of the Courts of St. Petersburg on Telegram
Photo: United Press Service of the Courts of St. Petersburg on Telegram
Renowned Russian physicist Anatoly Maslov has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on charges of "treason."

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Renowned physicist Anatoly Maslov, 77, has been sentenced to 14 years in a maximum-security prison by the St. Petersburg City Court on charges of treason.

Maslov, a chief researcher at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was found guilty under Article 275 of the Criminal Code.

The verdict includes a one-year restriction of freedom post-release and a two-year ban on activities involving access to state secrets.

This case was covered by the independent Russian news agency Novaya Gazeta.

Closed-Door Trial and Arrest Details

Due to the sensitive nature of the case, the trial was conducted behind closed doors, bearing the "Top Secret" classification.

Maslov was initially arrested in June 2022 in Novosibirsk and subsequently transferred to Lefortovo Prison in Moscow. He was later moved to a pre-trial detention center in St. Petersburg.

During his detention in February, Maslov suffered a heart attack, prompting hospitalization, as reported by his lawyer Olga Dinze. Despite his health issues, the court proceeded with the case, leading to his recent sentencing.

The charges against Maslov are allegedly linked to the unauthorized transfer of information about hypersonic weapons to foreign entities.

However, the scientific community, including the journal T-Invariant, suggests that the charges might be connected to Maslov's involvement in the European Union’s seventh framework program "TransHyBerian," rather than espionage.

Scientific Contributions

Maslov, who denies all accusations, is a distinguished figure in the fields of viscous gas dynamics and aerogasdynamics.

He holds professorships at two universities in Novosibirsk and has a prominent reputation for his scientific contributions.

In response to the charges, the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ITAM SB RAS) has issued an open letter defending Maslov and other scientists from Novosibirsk.

The case has raised concerns within the scientific community about the treatment of researchers and the potential impact on international scientific collaboration.

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