Update: Moscow’s Lefortovo Court sentenced Ivan Safronov to two months in jail. He will now remain in custody until September 6, 2020.
The prosecution in the treason case against investigative journalist and communications adviser to the head of the Russian space corporation “Roscosmos,” Ivan Safronov, is requesting that he be jailed for two months.
A number of media outlets, including RBK and MBKh Media, reported that the two-month sentence had already been handed down. This conflicted with reports from his lawyer Sergey Badamshin, who maintained that the decision has yet to be read out in court. The court’s press service later clarified that the investigation is seeking a two-month jail term for Safronov.
Federal agents arrested Safronov on the morning of July 7. According to a statement from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Safronov allegedly collaborated with an intelligence agency in a NATO member state to collect and transmit classified information about Russian military-technical cooperation and national defense and security.
A source told Interfax that Safronov denied involvement in the crime during interrogation. The journalist himself repeated that he was not guilty when he was being brought into the courtroom. In turn, a source told RIA Novosti that Safronov refused to testify during the interrogation, citing Article 51 of Russia’s constitution, which states that no one is obliged to testify against themselves.
Although it initially began as an open hearing, Safronov’s trial was later closed at the request of investigators. The FSB plans to present the official charges against Safronov on Monday July 13th.