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Russian Supreme Court Overturns Espionage Acquittal

9 June 2004 -- Russia's Supreme Court today overturned the acquittal of a Russian physicist on espionage charges and ordered a new trial.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) accused Valentin Danilov, a professor at the Krasnoyarsk Technical University, of selling classified information on space technology to China, but in December a regional court acquitted him of the charges.

Danilov's prosecution was one of a series of high-profile spy cases against Russian researchers that have alarmed scientists. His acquittal by a jury was seen as a rare defeat for Russia's security services.

In their appeal, prosecutors claimed defense lawyers put pressure on members of the jury.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Krasnoyarsk regional court for a new trial with a different set of judges.