A court in Russia on Monday sentenced Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and former adviser to the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, 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. The Moscow court ruled that he would have to serve his sentence in a criminal camp. In addition, he was also fined 500,000 rubles, which is about 8,250 euros.
Safronov pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial in April. He described the accusation as sharing information about Russian arms sales in the Middle East and Africa with the Czech Republic’s intelligence service in NATO in 2017 as a “complete mockery of justice.” Safronov’s lawyers immediately said they would appeal.
The journalist wrote for two large newspapers – Vedemosti and Kommersant – about military and security issues. At the time of his arrest, he was working as an advisor to the CEO of the Russian Space Agency.
Safronov’s case, according to his colleagues, is revenge for what he wrote in national newspapers about failures or other embarrassing incidents within the Russian army.
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