Media outlets publish investigator’s resolution on treason charges against Ivan Safronov
The newspaper Vedomosti and the outlet The Bell have published a copy of the FSB investigator’s resolution to bring treason charges against former journalist and advisor to the head of Roscosmos Ivan Safronov.
The document declares that Safronov’s alleged crime — passing information to Czech intelligence about Russia’s military cooperation with countries in Africa and the Middle East — occured in 2017, that is, at the time when he was working as a correspondent for the business newspaper Kommersant. The text of the resolution doesn’t mention any other incidents that could be linked to Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, where Safronov began working in May 2020.
During a meeting with members of the Presidential Human Rights Council on December 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on Safronov’s case, saying that it wasn’t connected to his journalistic activity, but rather to his time working for Roscosmos. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later said that Putin misspoke.
However, during his annual press conference a week later, Putin connected the charges against Safronov to his time working at Roscosmos, once again.
Afterwards, Peskov said that the president was basing his statements on information from state investigators, adding that the Kremlin was prepared to familiarize itself with information from Safronov’s defense team that “can be made public.”
“We have heard the statement from the president’s press secretary about the fact that the Kremlin is prepared to familiarize itself with the materials that we can make public. We hope that the Kremlin will take this document into account,” Safronov’s attorney Ivan Pavlov told Vedomosti.
In conversation with journalists on December 22, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the information published by Safronov’s defense team will be reported to Putin. At the same time, however, he noted that this will not affect the nature of the charges against Safronov. “Yes, other circumstances were noted. But this didn’t apply to the nature of the charges that are being ascribed to Ivan Safronov,” Putin’s spokesman said.