Sochi Resident Suspected of Treason Denied Family Visits for Past Year

The Sochi International Airport.

A Sochi man accused of treason has reportedly been denied the right to see his family for the past year owing to his refusal to confess to the crime, and his daughter fears she will never see him again.

Pyotr Parpulov, a former dispatcher at the Sochi International Airport, stands accused of having revealed state secrets while overseas in 2010. Though his story was only recently made public, he was detained in early March last year after investigators raided his Sochi home.

"I haven't seen my father for nearly a year. Judging by his health, specifically the serious problems with his heart and a range of other illnesses, I may never see him again," Parpulov's daughter Yulia Parpulova said in comments carried by news site Kavkazky Uzel. "The investigator whom my mother called said that he won't get a visit with his family since he hasn't confessed his guilt."

Parpulova, 25, said that investigators arrived at her family's home at 5:00 a.m. one morning last March. "The search went on until 8 a.m. They turned over the entire house," Parpulova said. "Afterward, they took away our parents to some unknown destination right before our eyes. Later, when my mother came back, I learned that they had questioned her and made her sign a gag order. My father was taken to a court in the central district on the same day, and the judge sanctioned his arrest for two months."

Since then, the report said, no one has been allowed in to see the suspect, who is currently being held in a Krasnodar pretrial detention center. He has maintained his innocence throughout the case. He faces up to 20 years behind bars on a charge of high treason.

His lawyer, Oleg Yeliseyev, told Kavkazky Uzel that investigators have refused to reveal any details on the "state secrets" he is accused of divulging.

"The phrasing of the accusation is dry and non-informative. There is no list of information that could constitute a secret. As a result, a defense is practically impossible. How can you defend a person and how can he defend himself if you don't know what you're defending him from?" Yeliseyev was cited as saying.

Parpulov's case is one of several to come to light in recent weeks that were brought under an expanded set of laws on state secrets adopted in 2012. In addition to Parpulov, others facing treason charges for divulging sensitive information include a mother of seven from Smolensk and an employee of the Russian Orthodox Church.

It has also been revealed in recent weeks that Sergei Minakov, a serviceman for the Black Sea Fleet, is facing espionage charges, and nuclear scientist Vladimir Golubev has been charged with revealing state secrets in connection with an article he published in a Czech academic journal.

Contact the author at a.quinn@imedia.ru

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