Elderly Russian scientist jailed on treason charges is denied house arrest over an email the U.S. embassy says is spam
A court has refused to grant house arrest to Viktor Kudryavtsev (the 75-year-old Russian scientist charged with treason for allegedly sharing secret information with a Belgian institute), citing an email he received that claims he’s been pre-approved for a green card in the United States. Ivan Pavlov, the scientist’s attorney, told Meduza that this message was only spam.
Catherine Holt, the consular section chief at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, told Pavlov that the American government never transmits decisions to “Diversity Visa” lottery participants by email. Scammers often send messages like the one found in Kudryavtsev’s inbox, Holt explained in a letter, adding that the Russian scientist never applied for a U.S. green card.
Viktor Kudryavtsev was arrested in July 2018 on treason charges. Alexander Sergeev, the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is one of several public figures who urged the courts to transfer the 75-year-old to house arrest. In April 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Kudryavtsev should be hospitalized immediately for examination and treatment. That same month, Russian prison officials moved Kudryavtsev to a hospital for observation, but later returned him to a remand prison.