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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Scientist Accused of Selling Secrets

A Russian researcher said Friday he has been charged with selling state secrets and exporting dual-use technologies, becoming the latest in a series of scientists to fall foul of the Federal Security Service.

Oscar Kaibyshev, 66, said he has been forbidden from traveling outside his home city of Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, since the middle of January and was suspended from his post as director of the Institute for Metal Superplasticity Problems. He said he has been interrogated several times by FSB agents, most recently Thursday for some six hours, and he said his bank accounts have been frozen.

"They've been going after the terrorists. Now they're going after the scientists," he said.

Yury Gervis, a lawyer for Kaibyshev, said prosecutors have charged him with revealing state secrets and illegal export of dual-use technologies. Dual-use technologies are techniques, machinery, equipment or software that can be used both for civilian and for military purposes.

Kaibyshev could receive 10 or more years in prison if convicted on the most serious charges, Gervis said. "The investigation is still continuing, so it's hard to predict what will happen," he said.

An official at the regional bureau of the FSB refused to comment on the case. No one answered the phone at the regional prosecutors' press office Friday and no one answered repeated phone calls to the institute.

The information that he has been charged with illegally exporting has been patented in the United States and other countries, Kaibyshev said, and was published in articles in several countries. The technology involves shaping different metals without causing them to lose their strength.

He said the criminal case specifically involved Korean company ASA, which approached him and his institute seeking to acquire the technology for use in building automobile tires. Officials at ASA in Korea declined comment on the case.

A growing number of academics have been targeted by the FSB for alleged espionage or misuse of classified information. Last year, arms control researcher Igor Sutyagin was convicted of treason for allegedly selling information on nuclear submarines and missile-warning systems to a British company that Russian investigators claimed was a CIA cover. Physicist Valentin Danilov was found guilty of selling classified information on space technology to China.