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Lawyer reports secret witness in treason case against jailed journalist Ivan Safronov

Source: Interfax

The treason case against former journalist and advisor to the head of Roscomos Ivan Safronov now includes a secret witness, his lawyer Ivan Pavlov reported on Tuesday, March 2. 

According to Pavlov, this witness has been included in the case file under the pseudonym “Lander.” The lawyer also added that the investigative actions related to the case are likely to be completed in June or July. 

Also on March 2, a Russian court extended Safronov’s detention for another two months, until May 7. The former journalist has been in custody since July 7, 2020. 

According to the FSB, Ivan Safronov passed state secrets to Czech intelligence when he was working for the business newspaper Kommersant in 2017. Investigators have never specified what classified information they are referring to. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the charges against Safronov are related to his work as an advisor to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos. 

Safronov maintains that he isn’t guilty and his defense lawyers are confident that he is being persecuted for his journalist work. Safronov specialized in reporting on Russia’s military-industrial complex and space industry.

While state investigators insist Safronov isn’t being persecuted for his journalism, they did offer him a plea bargain in exchange for naming his journalistic sources. Safronov turned it down.

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