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Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and adviser to the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who is accused of treason against the state, stands in the defendant’s cage as he attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, September 5. (Photo: Moscow City Court Press Service/Manual/Reuters)

In the most high-profile treason case in recent years, a Moscow city court on Monday sentenced Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and adviser to the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, to 22 years in prison, a Moscow reporter said. from the room.

“[El tribunal descarta] “Safronov was sentenced to 22 years in prison, to be held in a high-security prison,” announced the decision of the Judiciary Committee. In addition, he was sentenced to two years of restricted freedom and a fine of 500,000 rubles after his release.

The defense has 10 days to appeal the decision, which has not yet taken effect, the RIA said

More background: Safronov was arrested by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in July 2020, accused of collecting sensitive state data on Russia’s military and technological developments, defense and security and handing it over to NATO.

As a journalist, Safronov specialized in reporting on military and space issues for Vedomosti and Kommersant newspapers before working as an adviser to former Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozhin.

Details of the case have not been officially released as they were handled behind closed doors due to the seriousness of the allegations. Safrono’s lawyers said last week that the prosecutor had offered the journalist a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence of 12 years, which he refused.

Some of Russia’s remaining independent media outlets, including Meduza, Novaya Gazeta and TVRain, issued a statement in support of Ivan Safronov on Monday, calling for the journalist’s release and an investigation into alleged violations.

“It is clear to us that the reason for Ivan’s harassment is not ‘sedition’, which does not confirm anything, but his journalistic work and the material he published without taking into account the opinion of the Ministry of Defense and officials,” the report said.

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Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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