Vladimir Putin accused of killing scientist Dmitry Kolker for espionage
The family of a famous Russian scientist reported Sunday that he had died two days after being taken from his hospital bed on espionage allegations.
Dmitry Kolker, 54, died on Saturday at a Moscow hospital.
Maxim Kolker, his son, sent a message from the authorities on VKontakte saying that his father had been taken to the hospital from a prison in the capital.
Two days earlier, a court in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk stated Kolker had been detained and placed in detention for two months.
The court claimed he was accused of “state treason” and “espionage” for a “foreign state,” a criminal punishable by 20 years in prison.
According to his relatives, he was taken from a Novosibirsk clinic where he was receiving treatment for terminal cancer and moved to a hospital in Moscow by operatives from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
Maxim Kolker said on VKontakte on Sunday, “The FSB killed my father, they knew what state he was in, but they took him out of the hospital,”
“Thank you my country!!! His family didn’t even have permission to say goodbye to him,” he stated.
His cousin, Anton Dianov, told Reuters from the U.S. that the claims against Kolker were “ridiculous.”
“He was a scientist, he loved his country, he was working in his country despite many invitations from leading universities and labs to go work abroad. He wanted to work in Russia, he wanted to teach students there,” he said. “These charges are absolutely ridiculous and extremely cruel and unusual to be levied on such a sick man. They knew that he was on his deathbed and they chose to arrest him.”
A specialist in lasers, Kolker oversaw a laboratory on “quantum and optical technologies,” according to Novosibirsk State University’s website. According to his son, he was suspected of espionage after participating in an international conference in China.
During this session, he alleged, he was continually accompanied by an FSB agent to ensure he did not give up any critical information.
In Russia, scientists are often accused and convicted of espionage.
Dianov told Reuters that Kolker was also a highly accomplished concert pianist and organist.
“To me, somebody who was producing such beautiful things could not have done what they accuse him of. And that’s forever how I’m going to remember him,” he remarked