Former Kommersant journalist and ex-adviser to the head of Roscosmos Ivan Safronov was sentenced to 22 years in a strict regime colony, as well as a fine of 500 thousand rubles and two years of restriction of freedom after his release in the case of “transferring classified information” about the Russian Armed Forces.
The journalist's lawyer said that the defense is going to appeal the verdict.
Now Safronov is 32 years old. Initially, the prosecutor Boris Loktionov in court asked for 24 years in prison for the journalist, a fine and restriction of freedom after his release. Prosecutor Elvira Zotchik, during a break right in the courtroom, offered Safronov to admit his guilt in exchange for a term of 12 years in prison, but the journalist refused.
According to the indictment published by Proekt in August, Safronov's case is based solely on assumptions: none of the "witnesses" knows anything about the "crimes" of the journalist. And almost all the information that he allegedly passed on and which is considered "state secret" is in the public domain.
Safronov was arrested in early July 2020. The FSB believes that in 2017 he allegedly handed over classified data to the Czech intelligence service, which worked under the leadership of the United States. These data were related to Russia's military-technical cooperation in African countries and the actions of the Armed Forces in the Middle East.
According to the investigation, Safronov allegedly found out this secret information from officials who had access to it. At the same time, the testimony of six civil servants from the case file does not confirm this version, Project pointed out: none of them said that they had passed any secret data to the journalist. Only the former head of the United Rocket and Space Corporation, Yuri Vlasov, suggested that Safronov was in his office and "could see some documents" on the table. He did not provide any evidence.
As reported by the First Department, the court refused to attach the investigation of the Project to the case file, as well as documents on the interrogation of witnesses, which confirm Safronov's innocence.
At a meeting on August 30, prosecutor Elvira Zotchik, during a break, suggested that Safronov admit his guilt in exchange for a term of 12 years in prison. The journalist refused to make a deal.