MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 12, 2021: A medical worker is seen by an ambulance vehicle at the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical center for patients with suspected COVID-19 infection. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has declared June 15-19 non-working days due to the COVID-19 situation. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS PUBLICATIONxINxGERxAUTxONLY TS104770

A recognized Russian scientist with a serious illness of cancer was arrested in a hospital bed on charges of espionage and died two days later. Dmitri Kolker died in a Moscow hospital on Saturday, his family said on Sunday. He was previously in a Moscow prison, according to a statement from the authorities published by Kolker’s son Maxim on the online platform VKontakte.

Two days earlier, a court in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk announced that Kolker had been arrested and held in custody for two months. Accordingly, he was accused of “treason” and “espionage for the benefit of a foreign state”, which could result in 20 years in prison.

According to the family, 54-year-old Kolker was arrested by FSB agents at the Novosibirsk clinic where he was being treated for terminal cancer and taken to Moscow despite his condition.

“The FSB killed my father, they knew what condition he was in, but they got him out of the hospital. Thank you, my country!” Maxim Kolker wrote on VKontakte. The family didn’t even get permission to say goodbye to him.

Kolker, laser expert, doctor of physics and mathematics, had headed a laboratory for quantum and optical technology at the University of Novosibirsk. According to his son, he was suspected of espionage after giving courses during an international conference in China. During the conference, Kolker was constantly accompanied by an FSB agent to prevent sensitive information from being passed on.