Russian scientist accused of trying to smuggle biological weapons materials

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September 14, 2007 13:23

 
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Security agents are investigating a Russian scientist for allegedly trying to smuggle out of Russia materials that could be used in building a biological or bacteriological weapon, the scientist and his co-workers said Friday. Oleg Mediannikov is the latest in a growing number of academics and scientists who have been targeted by Russia's main security agency, the Federal Security Service, for allegedly misusing classified information, revealing state secrets or, in some cases, espionage. Mediannikov, a biologist at Moscow's Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, told The Associated Press that he was traveling to France in December to bring vials of a non-dangerous typhoid vaccine to colleagues when he was stopped by customs officials at Sheremyetevo Airport. The samples were confiscated and sent to a government laboratory for testing, but Mediannikov said he was allowed to come to travel to Marseilles, then returned to Moscow without further incident.

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