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Russian Scientist Convicted Of Treason Asks Putin For Clemency

A 76-year-old former space researcher who was sentenced to prison on a treason conviction has asked President Vladimir Putin for clemency.

Vladimir Lapygin's lawyer, Vasily Protsyk, said on May 29 that his client has been awaiting a decision from Putin on a possible pardon since March.

Former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's nongovernmental organization Open Russia said on May 29 that Lapygin has also appealed his verdict and sentence with the Supreme Court.

Lapygin was sentenced to seven years in prison in September after a Moscow court found him guilty of handing secret information to foreigners.

Before his arrest, he worked for a research branch of the Russian space agency Roskosmos.

Lapygin's case is one of several in recent years in which academics have been accused of disseminating sensitive information.

He denies any wrongdoing, saying he never had any access to classified information.

With reporting by Interfax