A Siberian spectral imagery scientist battling late-stage cancer was arrested in hospital and brought to Moscow on accusations of treason, the Tayga.info news website reported Thursday.
Dmitry Kolker, Ph.D., heads the Novosibirsk State University’s quantum optical technologies laboratory, which partners with Germany’s Max Born Institute and France’s National Institute of Metrology.
“They took a sick man, who was practically dying and feeding through a tube in his vein, from a private hospital,” his son Maxim Kolker told Tayga.info.
He said Kolker, 54, is accused of sharing state secrets with China.
Kolker is known to have given lectures, including on laser spectroscopy and laser imaging, detection and ranging (Lidar), at a Chinese university.
“There was an FSB officer with him everywhere, who flew with him to China, forbidding him to speak in English and to give the lecture in English,” Maxim Kolker said, referring to a Federal Security Service operative.
Novosibirsk’s Sovetsky District Court ordered Friday to place Kolker in pre-trial detention until Aug. 29, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported.
If found guilty of high treason, Kolker faces up to 20 years in jail.
But Kolker’s family says it fears he may not survive his incarceration.
According to Tayga.info, Kolker is awaiting trial at Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison.
The outlet reported that his arrest was accompanied by searches at his family’s apartment, where security agents seized his equipment.
Kolker is the latest in a string of Russian scientists, academics and journalists to be suspected of passing state secrets to foreign countries in recent years.