Scientist from Vladivostok, Doctor of Engineering Vladimir Shchurov was sentenced to a two-year probation period at a closed court's session on Monday. The term of execution of the sentence was cancelled by amnesty. The scientist's lawyer, Alexander Berkovich, told RIA Novosti that despite the mild sentence, the lawyers are going to request the judgement of acquittal.
On August 31, 1999 the acoustic modules, sent by Vladimir Shchurov to China for joint studies, were detained on the Russian-Chinese border.
Military experts believe that the modules, created in the laboratory of the Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have no analogues in the world and can catch the smallest noise fluctuations of submarines.
Following the conclusion made by military experts in the autumn of 1999 a search was conducted in Shchurov's laboratory, and scientific materials were withdrawn. A criminal case was instituted against the scientist who was charged according to three articles of the Criminal Code. But the prosecutor's office of the Primorye Territory did not support the accusation made according to the two articles (smuggling and export of technologies, and scientific-technical information used when creating military hardware). Only one accusation was supported by the prosecutor's office - the divulgence of classified information.
A special commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences also studied the issue. According to its assessment, these are no legal foundations to accuse the scientists of divulging the state secret, because he took them from the open sources.
Shchurov himself believes that after the four-year investigation, his unique laboratory was practically destroyed, and the "vector acoustic" scientific direction no longer exists. The Pacific Oceanological institute was the world leader in this sphere.