A court in southern Russia has sentenced a scientist to seven and a half years in prison for treason, the state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday.
Alexei Temirev, a Doctor of Technical Sciences from the city of Novocherkassk, was detained in July 2018 and his case files were classified. Investigators accused him of sending state secrets to authorities in Vietnam, the RBC news website cited his lawyer Anna Polozova as saying.
The Rostov regional court convicted Temirev of high treason, a charge that carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
Polozova told RBC that her client was convicted for sending information about submarine power supply equipment he had created with his Vietnamese graduate student. She maintained that this information was not classified.
“It’s in the public domain, in a book that any library has,” she said.
Temirev may have been arrested in connection with a leak of classified information about “sensitive research for the creation of weapons and military equipment for the Navy,” the Kommersant business daily reported after he was detained.
Temirev had been the head of Mechatronica, a company that provides technology to the Russian Navy, including a battery monitoring and diagnostics system that is installed on Varshavyanka diesel-electric submarines.
The scientist didn’t appeal the court’s decision, TASS reported.