A court in Russia on Monday sentenced ex-journalist and former adviser to space agency Roscosmos Ivan Safronov to 22 years in prison for “high treason”.
The 32-year-old Russian was arrested more than two years ago, and has been in custody ever since. He will have to serve his sentence in a penal camp, the Moscow court has ruled. In addition, he was also fined 500,000 rubles, about 8,250 euros.
Safronov pleaded innocent at the beginning of his trial in April. He described the accusation that he shared information about Russian arms sales in the Middle East and Africa with the intelligence service of NATO country the Czech Republic in 2017 as a “complete mockery of justice”. Safronov’s lawyers immediately said they would appeal.
The journalist wrote for two major newspapers – Vedemosti and Kommersant – on military and security issues. At the time of his arrest, he was working as an adviser to the chief executive of the Russian space agency.
Safronov’s case, according to his colleagues, is revenge for the pieces he wrote in national newspapers about failures or other embarrassing incidents within the Russian army.
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