Prosecutor Boris Loktionov asked the court to sentence Ivan Safronov, a former advisor to the head of the state space agency Roscosmos and a journalist, to 24 years in prison in the case involving “transmission of secret information” about the Russian Armed Forces, Pervyi Otdel, a human rights project, reports.
It is one year less than the maximum term.
The journalists specify that there is no evidence of “criminal activity” in the case; the prosecution witnesses stated in court that Safronov had been engaged in ordinary journalism and had not been “breaking the law or divulging state secrets.”
High treason, according to the investigator, the prosecutor and their colleagues, consists in recounting several articles that had been in the public domain to a foreign journalist.
Earlier, “ Pervyi Otdel reported that Safronov's defense counsel were denied a motion challenging the judge; the court uses far-fetched and contradictory grounds to deny the defense lawyers’ motions. Judges D.S. Gordeev, I.I. Basyrov, O.V. Sharova, according to the journalists, were apparently interested in the outcome of Safronov's case. For example, they refused to attach to the case materials the investigation by Proekt and the documents relating to the interrogation of the witnesses confirming Safronov's innocence.
Earlier, Proekt published an indictment in the Ivan Safronov case, from which it follows that none of the witnesses in the case knew anything about Safronov's “crimes”, while the “secrets” allegedly divulged by Safronov were in the public domain. The investigation claims that Safronov extracted state secrets from officials who had access to them. However, the testimony of the six officials from the case file contradicts this version.
Safronov was detained on July 7, 2020, and taken into custody. The investigation said he had been recruited in 2012 by a representative of the Czech secret service, to whom he gave secret information in 2017 related to Russian military and technical cooperation in Africa and the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in the Middle East. The ultimate recipient of the classified information, according to the investigation, was the United States. Safronov has not pled guilty and believes that the criminal case is related to his journalistic activities.