Russian scientist jailed under Putin walks free

KRASNOYARSK, Russia Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:50pm IST

Russian physicist Valentin Danilov stands outside the Krasnoyarsk regional court before his trial resumption in this September 14, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin/Files

Russian physicist Valentin Danilov stands outside the Krasnoyarsk regional court before his trial resumption in this September 14, 2004 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Ilya Naymushin/Files

Related Topics

KRASNOYARSK, Russia (Reuters) - Russian scientist Valentin Danilov walked free on parole on Saturday after serving eight years of a 14-year sentence on charges of spying for China during President Vladimir Putin's first term.

Danilov, 66, said shortly after his release in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk that he had regarded himself as a political prisoner because the information he passed on was declassified.

"I would really appreciate it if somebody finally told me what state secret I sold," he said.

Danilov smiled, joked and laughed with reporters. Asked about his health, the physicist said: "I'm fine. Otherwise I wouldn't be here."

Human rights activists saw Danilov's case as an example of the Kremlin's use of the courts against opponents although Putin, who was president from 2000 until 2008 and began a third term in May, has denied influencing the courts.

Danilov was sentenced in 2004 but had already been held in detention before and during his trial. A Krasnoyarsk court granted him parole earlier this month.

First arrested in 2001, he was a researcher at Krasnoyarsk State University. He admitted selling information about satellite technology to a Chinese company but said the information had already been available from public sources.

An initial decision to acquit him was overturned and he was sentenced in a second trial.

Danilov's case was one of several during Putin's first spell as president that were seen by opponents as an attempt to intimidate academics with ties to other countries.

(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fighting the Islamic State

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting Ebola

Fighting Ebola

Cuban doctors proud to risk lives in mission to halt Ebola.  Full Article 

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad restaurant bombs kill 21  Full Article 

Canada On Alert

Canada On Alert

Canada raises terrorism threat level, cites Islamist chatter.  Full Article 

Foreign Threat?

Foreign Threat?

Sweden gets two new sightings, as hunt for undersea intruder goes on.  Full Article 

Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran Nuclear Talks

Exclusive: Iran offers "compromises" in nuclear talks, West unmoved  Full Article 

Prisoner Freed

Prisoner Freed

North Korea unexpectedly frees American Jeffrey Fowle.  Full Article 

Npeal Disaster

Npeal Disaster

Death toll in Nepal's worst trekking disaster reaches 43  Full Article 

Power Failure

Power Failure

Japan's bid to forge national grid stumbles.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage