Russian Scientist Sentenced for South Korean Espionage
A Russian scientist who worked in cooperation with Hankook subsidiary ASA has been given a six-year suspended sentence for his part in an international espionage case. According to Russian news agencies, Oskar Kaibyshev, 66, the former director of the Institute for Metals Superplasticity Problems (IMPS), had been on trial in the Supreme Court of the Volga republic of Bashkortostan for passing dual-use technology to South Korea.
More than 80 witnesses testified at the trial, which was held behind closed doors as the Federal Security Service (FSB) said top-secret information could emerge in the case.
The case against Kaibyshev was initiated after FSB officers detained a “South Korean delegation” last year that was leaving Russia with 500 pages of technical documentation and several compact discs containing technical data from Kaibyshev’s institute. The institute said the confiscated data focused on years of collaboration between the institute and ASA, a subsidiary of Seoul-based Hankook Tire.
Kaibyshev said the firm was using superplastic technology in designs for “high-pressure tyres.” The technology stretches titanium alloy to improve its mechanical properties, but FSB experts said the technical data provided to South Korean experts could be used to produce missiles and weapons.
Oskar Kaibyshev’s lawyer is reported to have said his client would appeal the verdict, as did the state prosecutor, who said the sentence was too lenient. Kaibyshev could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.