A renowned Russian scientist suffering from terminal cancer has died two days after being dragged from his hospital bed after being arrested on espionage charges, his family said Sunday.
Dmitry Kolker, 54, died early Saturday in a Moscow hospital where he had been transferred from a prison in the capital, according to a message by authorities published on the social network VKontakte by his son Maxim Kolker.
Two days ago, a court in Novosibirsk, a large Siberian city, ordered the arrest of Dmitry Kolkar and two months of remand.
According to this source, he was charged with “treason” and “espionage” for the benefit of a “foreign state”, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
His family says he was arrested by Security Service (FSB) agents at a clinic in Novosibirsk where he was being treated for terminal cancer, then transferred to Moscow despite his health.
“The FSB killed my father, they knew what he was doing, but they took him out of the hospital. Thank you to my country! Not even his family was allowed to say goodbye to him,” Maxim Kolkar wrote on VKontakte on Sunday.
According to the website of the State University of Novosibirsk, an expert in lasers, physics and mathematics Dr. Dmitry Kolkar ran a laboratory on “quantum and optical technologies.”
According to his son, he was suspected of espionage after lecturing at an international conference in China. At this meeting, according to his son, Dmitry Kolkar was permanently accompanied by an FSB agent to prevent the spread of sensitive information.
In Russia, scientists are regularly accused of espionage and sometimes found guilty in highly controversial cases.