The Straits Times
Published on Nov 24, 2012

Russia frees physicist convicted of spying for China


MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia on Saturday released a physicist who was sentenced to 13 years in prison after being convicted of spying for China despite his insistence that the information involved had long ago been declassified.

Mr Valentin Danilov was released early from prison number 17 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk with over three years of his original sentence remaining, Russian news agencies said.

Mr Danilov was first arrested in 2001 and sentenced in 2004 to 14 years in prison - later reduced to 13 years - for spying for China and embezzling 466,000 roubles (S$18,000) from a state university to assist his work.

The criminal case against him was opened at the start of ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin's first Kremlin term, and for many represented a return to the paranoid hunts for traitors in Soviet times.