a scientist from Russia who was arrested in Siberia last week on suspicion of state treason died two days after his arrest, his lawyer told Reuters on Sunday. Dmitry Kolker was flown to Moscow despite suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Kolker had been taken to Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, lawyer Alexander Fedulov said. “He died yesterday. Tomorrow we will file a complaint about his detention,” he said.
Kolker’s family said last week that he had been taken from a hospital in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, where he was being fed by tube, and put on a flight to Moscow by officials from the FSB security service.
Kolker was a doctor of physics and mathematics. According to his family, he had been accused of collaborating with security services in China, where he had previously given scientific lectures. They claimed his innocence.
On Saturday, state news agency TASS said Russia had detained a second scientist in Novosibirsk on suspicion of treason against the state. It was unclear whether the two cases were linked.
Several Russian scientists have been arrested and charged with treason in recent years for allegedly passing sensitive material to foreigners. Kremlin critics say the arrests often stem from unfounded paranoia.
Treason to the State is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.