MOSCOW, September 5 (RAPSI) - The Moscow City Court on Monday sentenced former Kommersant newspaper journalist Ivan Safronov to 22 years in a strict regime colony for treason, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
Additionaly, the defendant was fined 500,000 rubles (over $8,000)
In late August prosecutor Boris Loktionov moved for a term of 24 years in a strict regime colony for Safronov.
The investigation into the case was conducted by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), and the materials of the case were classified as "top secret." Safronov is charged with committing high treason in the form of espionage acting in complicity with another person.
The ex-journalist pleads not guilty.
According to investigators, in the period of 2015 through 2019, the defendant gathered secret information about Russia's military-technical cooperation with the states that are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as well as the countries of the Middle East, Africa and the Balkan Peninsula.
Safronov systematically passed the collected information to representatives of foreign intelligence services, realizing that this information could be used by the NATO member states against the security of the Russian Federation. It was documented that Safronov committed illegal actions on a reimbursable basis, as well as using encryption methods, the prosecutor's office has stated earlier.
The defendant was arrested on July 7, 2020 on charges of treason. The FSB alleged that Safronov transmitted secret military information to the Czech intelligence services which, as it is believed, are linked to the U.S. security agencies.
A former correspondent for Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers, Safronov was appointed advisor to Russian space agency Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin in May 2020 as he had to resign from his post in the media outlet after a scandal related to the publication of an explosive article about possible resignation of the Federation Council head Valentina Matviyenko. After Safronov was arrested, the Roscosmos press service said the case was not connected with his work in the company.