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Russian space industry scientist pressed with high treason charges

Viktor Kudryavtsev was arrested on July 19

MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. Investigators have brought high treason charges against staffer of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIImash, the parent research institute of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos) Viktor Kudryavtsev, the scientist’s lawyer told TASS on Wednesday.

"Our defendant was today officially pressed with high treason charges (article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code)," lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who also heads the Team 29 lawyers’ association, said.

The lawyer also said he had been denied admission to the process of bringing high treason charges against the scientist.

"In view of this, we wrote a complaint to Head of the Moscow Chamber of Lawyers Igor Polyakov," he said.

Candidate of Technical Sciences Kudryavtsev was arrested on July 19. As soon as the scientist was detained, investigators made a decision to search the offices of TsNIImash and other facilities. As the TsNIImash press office told TASS on Monday, the investigative team has no questions to the research institute’s current management and the investigation relates to the 2013 events.

The Moscow City court will examine on August 2 a complaint for placing the scientist accused of high treason into custody.

The Russian business daily Kommersant earlier reported that an investigative team from the Federal Security Service (FSB) had searched the offices of TsNIImash staffers, as well as the office of Director of the Roscosmos Research and Analytical Center Dmitry Paison. According to the paper, investigative measures were carried out as part of criminal proceedings instituted on charges of high treason under Russia’s Criminal Code, and about 10 employees working in the space industry were under investigation for collaborating with Western intelligence services.

The FSB determined that Western intelligence agencies had found out about the results of the Russian space industry’s ‘top secret’ work on hypersonic technologies, the paper reported.