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Released Physicist Danilov Arrives in Novosibirsk

26 November 2012 

Source: (info)
Scientist Valentin Danilov, convicted in 2004 on a trumped up charge of espionage for China, has been released from a Krasnoyarsk penal colony. On 26 November he arrived by train in Novosibirsk, where he plans to live. Danilov said he was pleased to arrive in the city where he had spent his youth. In conversation with a RIA Novosti correspondent, Danilov said he is not planning to look for work in the near future, but wants to rest and recover his health. The news agency quotes the physicist as saying, “I must say that the place I was in was far from being a holiday resort”.

Rosbalt news agency reports that Krasnoyarsk physicist Valetin Danilov, convicted on trumped up charges of espionage and fraud and released from a Krasnoyarsk penal colony, is preparing to return to scientific work. “Academia is a way of life. Of course I will do scientific work, but in no way will it be to do with space,” Danilov told journalists.

Danilov remarked that he would not work for a government-run company. “I will never work in a company run by the state, especially not in an academic institution,” said Danilov.

In his own words, Danilov considers himself to be a political prisoner. He said that while he was in the penal colony he received letters of support not only from academic colleagues, but also from ordinary people who expressed hope for his speedy release.

A criminal case was brought against the physicist in May 2000 by the Krasnoyarsk FSB. He was accused of disclosing state secrets. According to the official investigation, Valentin Danilov, director of the Thermo-Physical Centre of Krasnoyarsk State Technical University, gave information to representatives of China that enabled China to reduce by approximately 15 years the time it took to create its own military space agency with a high level of security.

Danilov was accused of high treason and also of embezzling money allocated to scientific research. He was arrested in February 2001.

In December 2003 a jury acquitted Danilov, but the Supreme Court quashed this decision. The scientist was taken into custody again on 10thNovember 2004. After two weeks a different jury found the Danilov guilty and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Later the length of the sentence was reduced by one year.

Russian human rights activists considered Valentin Danilov to be a political prisoner and called for the president of the Russian Federation to pardon him.