Russian Prosecutors Seek 24-Year Jail Term For Ex-Journalist Ivan Safronov For Treason, Says Report

Last Updated: August 30, 2022, 18:50 IST

Ivan Safronov was a former journalist and an aide to the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. He is in custody on state treason charges (Image: Reuters)

Ivan Safronov denies accusations of passing military secrets about Russian arms sales in the Middle East and Africa to the Czech Republic, a NATO member, while he worked as a reporter in 2017

Russian state prosecutors on Tuesday requested a 24-year prison sentence for former journalist Ivan Safronov in his trial for treason, state news agency TASS quoted Moscow City Court as saying.

Safronov covered military affairs for the Vedomosti and Kommersant newspapers before becoming an aide to the head of Russia’s space agency two months before his arrest in July 2020.

He denies accusations of passing military secrets about Russian arms sales in the Middle East and Africa to the Czech Republic, a NATO member, while he worked as a reporter in 2017, calling them “a complete travesty of justice and common sense”. A verdict in the case is expected soon.

Safronov has said state investigators pointed to his acquaintance with a Czech journalist he met in Moscow in 2010 who later set up a website which Safronov said he contributed to using information entirely based on open sources.

His detention sent a chill through Russia’s media landscape, where controls were already strict and have been tightened further since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Independent media outlets including the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and Dozhd independent TV channel have fled the country, resuming operations abroad.

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