Russia's Supreme Court does not revoke espionage sentence against Russian scholar

The Supreme Court ruled, Thursday, not to vacate the espionage sentence against Anatoly Babkin, which had been passed by a Moscow court. The scholar had been sentenced to 8 years of suspended imprisonment for treason.

However, the Supreme Court refused to grant the prosecutor general's request to unfreeze the money, which was seized from the professor's home during investigation. A total of 12,200 dollars were seized from professor Babkin. The Prosecution demanded that the money should be appropriated by the state.

On February 19, 2003, a Moscow court found the 72-year-old professor of Moscow's Bauman Technical University guilty of providing Edmond Pope, a retired US Navy officer, with classified information for money.

The information in question referred to an under-water missile of Russia's operational Shkval anti-submarine missile system.

Mr Pope was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Moscow in 2000, but was later pardoned by the Russian president.

Professor Babkin was stripped of the right to teach and engage in scholarly activities for 3 years after the end of the suspended term. Moreover, the court stripped him of the title of Merited Scholar.

The scholar claims he had provided the American with scientific reports under a treaty on co-operation between the Bauman university and the Pennsylvania State University. The reports passed through the Bauman university's international relations department. However, the department found the sentence against the professor well grounded.

Ksenia Kostromina, Professor Babkin's defence lawyer, said the Defence would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights seeking to acquit the scholar, who insisted that he had never got money from Pope.

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