Appeals court upholds 22-year sentence in Ivan Safronov’s treason case
The First Appellate Court of general jurisdiction has dismissed the journalist Ivan Safronov’s appeal, upholding the 22-year sentence issued by the Moscow Municipal Court, which found Safronov guilty of treason. The journalist’s sentence is now coming into effect. Safronov will soon be transferred to a penal colony.
Today’s hearing, as well as the entire trial, was closed to members of the press. Journalists and Safronov’s family, together with his friends and supporters, were only permitted into the courtroom when it was time to hear the verdict.
Safronov thanked his family and others who came to the hearing for their support, and said that he hoped he wouldn’t be sent to “Magadan or Anadyr.” “But if it’s Anadyr,” he said, referring to Russia’s easternmost town on the Chukotka Peninsula,
The defendant added that he had “forgiven everyone and has no hard feelings.”
Safronov expressed satisfaction that, during the investigation, he hadn’t “maligned a single person”: “no testimony, not a single word,” he said, “even though I knew this wouldn’t come down to 10 or even 15 years.”
The journalist acknowledged that he has “realized a great deal” in his 2.5 years in pre-trial jail, and “met many strong and interesting people.” He promised that he would write a book about his experience.
Moscow Municipal Court sentenced Safronov to 22 years in a high-security penal colony on September 5, 2022. By that time, the journalist had already spent two years in a pre-trial jail.
Safronov insists that he is innocent. His defense has repeatedly emphasized that all the “classified” information that Safronov was accused of sharing was, in fact, openly accessible online.
The prosecution denied any connection between the case and Safronov’s journalism. It tried to bargain for information about his sources in exchange for a less severe sentence.
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