In Russia, heavy verdict for a journalist disturbing the Russian secret companies

In Russia, heavy verdict for a journalist disturbing the Russian secret companies

A screenshot shows Ivan Safronov (2nd left) at the Moscow City Court, September 5, 2022.

The Russian authorities imposed, Monday, September 5, an especially heavy and unprecedented sentence on journalist Ivan Safronov, accused of excessive treason by the FSB, the safety companies. He was sentenced to twenty-two years in a strict regime penal colony, adopted by two years of restricted freedom, for having transmitted seven analytical articles containing – in line with the prosecution – state secrets and techniques to the Czech journalist Martin Larysh and to German political analyst Dmitry Voronin.

The choose solely learn the introduction and the decision, with out saying a phrase concerning the argument. All of the trial hearings had been held behind closed doorways on the pretext that state secrets and techniques had been included within the indictment. Dozens of colleagues, relations and buddies of Ivan Safronov had been current within the courtroom to assist him. When the decision was introduced, they chanted the phrase ” freedom “ and applauded the condemned. The latter, standing in his glass cage, his eyes drained, replied: ” I really like you all. »

“Absurd” accusations

Aged 32, two of whom have already spent in preventive jail, this journalist famend for his experience within the protection trade sector has denied any guilt. Former newspaper contributor Kommersant and Information centered its protection on demonstrating that solely one of many articles contained confidential info, parts which had been made public lower than two months after their transmission. Mr. Safronov’s legal professionals instantly appealed.

In his closing argument just a few days in the past, Mr. Safronov described the fees in opposition to him as“absurd”mentioning that he had by no means had entry to any categorised doc and mentioning that the investigators by no means produced any testimony to assist the espionage costs.

The investigative website Mission revealed, on August 29, an investigation revealing how the accusation in opposition to Safronov was stitched collectively in white thread. Humorous instance drawn from the prosecution file: one of many extras within the case, Dmitri Voronin, cooked by an FSB investigator, ended up admitting to having a supervisor made up from scratch, whom he says he is aware of by the title of struggle of “Wichser”, German phrase which suggests “wanker”.

“Ivan Safronov’s punishment is demonstrably merciless and brutal, reflecting the brand new Russian actuality”, Pavel Tchikov, Russian lawyer

The absurdity of the decision and, past that, of the Russian judicial system is summed up by the spouse of Ivan Safronov, Ksenia Mironova, in a tweet. “On the ground beneath the condominium the place we lived with Safronov, lived Micha the alcoholic. Two years in the past, Micha raped a buddy with a bottle and the latter died, however Micha didn’t go to jail. This 12 months, he swung out the window and killed his ingesting buddy. It took 5 years. » “I’ve by no means seen a conviction for treason exceed twenty years”Russian lawyer Pavel Tchikov, who makes a speciality of defending people indicted for espionage, mentioned on his Telegram channel. “The sentence exceeds [les vingt ans] as a result of [Safronov] is charged in two circumstances and the sentences are cumulative. Sentences in espionage circumstances are all the time heavy, however I’ve seen the sentences lengthen in recent times. (…) Ivan Safronov’s punishment is demonstrably merciless and brutal, reflecting the brand new Russian actuality. »

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