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Physicist Valentin Danilov released on parole by Krasnoyarsk court

November 13, 2012, 10:14 UTC+3

In 2001, he was arrested on suspicion of divulging state secrets and sentenced in 2004 to 14 years

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KRASNOYARSK, November 13 (Itar-Tass) — The Sovetsky District Court of Krasnoyarsk on Tuesday granted the petition for parole filed by physicist Valentin Danilov. In 2001, he was arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on suspicion of divulging state secrets and sentenced in 2004 to 14 years in a tight-security penal colony. Then his term was reduced by one year.

The court’s press secretary Maria Fomushina told Itar-Tass that Valentin Danilov will be released in 10 days when the court ruling will come into force. The convicted physicist’s prison term was to end in 3 years, 2 months and 11 days.

The former head of the Thermo-Physics Centre at Krasnoyarsk State Technical University (KTSU), Professor Valentin Danilov, was charged with making a stand for modelling the impact of cosmic space on artificial Earth satellites at the request of the Chinese side. In 1999, on behalf of Krasnoyarsk State Technical University he signed a contract with the China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC) on the manufacture of the test unit and development of software for it.

Despite the fact that Danilov’s inventions had been declassified eight years before the trial, the regional FSB department accused the physicist of spying for China, and the university accused Danilov of alleged misappropriation of 466 thousand roubles. The investigation stated later that in the period from 1999 to 2000 Danilov fraudulently stole the state funds earmarked for the contract.

In 2001, he was arrested by the FSB on suspicion of divulging state secrets. He was released on bail on October 2, 2002. He was acquitted by a jury of all charges on December 29, 2003. However, on June 9, 2004 - the Supreme Court of Russia overturned Danilov’s acquittal of espionage. On November 2004, another jury convicted Danilov of espionage. He was subsequently sentenced to 14 years in jail for treason. According to human rights organisations, his sentence was unjustified, because Danilov provided documents to the court showing that all the “secret information” has been in fact declassified.

To date, the scientist has served two-thirds of his term, and in accordance with the legislation in effect he is eligible to apply for parole.


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