Russia detains physicist on suspicion of passing aviation secrets abroad: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Authorities in Moscow arrested a physicist on suspicion of state treason for allegedly passing classified information about Russia’s aviation industry abroad, news agencies reported late on Thursday.

A Moscow court ruled that Anatoly Gubanov, who works for the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, would be held in custody for two months pending trial.

Russian news agencies said his lawyer had declined to comment on the case. Reuters could not immediately reach the lawyer, and the court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gubanov could be jailed for up to 20 years if found guilty of state treason, though details of the accusations are unlikely to come to light as treason cases are usually classified.

Charges of treason against servicemen and workers in Russia’s industrial sectors are not uncommon.

Russia sentenced a man to 13 years in prison for trying to pass military secrets to the United States last month, and in October detained a serviceman and his brother for allegedly passing state secrets to Estonia.

Reporting by Alexander Marrow; editing by John Stonestreet