His accusation was kept secret from Ivan Safronov

On Monday, the Moscow City Court began proceedings in the criminal case of former special correspondent of Kommersant and Vedomosti, acting adviser to the head of Roscosmos Ivan Safronov, who is accused of treason. According to the investigation, the journalist collected and passed, including for a fee, to German and Czech intelligence data on Russia’s defense capabilities. Ivan Safronov himself categorically denies his guilt, insisting that he has never cooperated with foreign intelligence services, and in communication with acquaintances used data only from open sources. He emphasizes that the accusation is clearly “fabricated” and does not contain a description of his espionage activities. During the closed trial, the lawyers asked the court to return the case to the prosecutor’s office due to numerous violations of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but were refused.

The first hearing in the case of Ivan Safronov, accused of treason in the form of espionage (Article 275 of the Criminal Code), lasted until late in the evening. It began, as the defense explained, with the submission of another “voluminous” request to return the case file to the prosecutor’s office under Art. 237 Code of Criminal Procedure. Lawyers believe that they contain many violations of the law, which do not allow the court to make a lawful and reasonable decision on the case. The defense denied the request.

After that, the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation Boris Loktionov read the indictment. It should be noted that the hearings themselves are held behind closed doors in the Moscow City Court, as some of the case materials are classified as “secret” or contain information that constitutes a state secret. The latter circumstance also became the basis for entrusting the decision on this criminal case to a troika of professional judges, chaired by Dmitry Gordeev.

After the prosecutor’s speech, Ivan Safronov, expressing his attitude to the accusation, as Kommersant told Kommersant, once again declared his complete innocence. He reiterated that he was not allowed to defend himself against “contrived”, “absurd” and “wild” accusations, and the case file did not indicate “what is treason and espionage.” Ivan insists that he was engaged exclusively in journalism, and took data only from open sources. Moreover, he has never had access to a state secret and does not understand at all what exactly he allegedly passed on a secret, as in the case instead of accurate information there are only references to some various departmental instructions and regulations. But, since they are secret in themselves, Ivan Safronov, according to him, simply could not know about them. At the same time, the defendant noted, the FSB investigators did not allow him to get acquainted with these documents even during the investigation.

Separately, the adviser to the head of Roscosmos reminded that both his apartment and the mobile phone of the special services had been intercepted for several years, and hundreds of hours of audio recordings were attached to the materials of the investigation.

In particular, as the defenders note, they contain conversations of “witnesses from among the highest officials of the state hierarchy.” But according to Ivan Safronov’s representatives, it does not follow that he did anything illegal. The accused also recalled that he had asked the investigator to call about 40 witnesses, many of whom were questioned during the investigation, including a dozen military experts, but had refused. Separately, the defendant reiterated that it was enough for him to get a laptop and give him only three hours to prove his innocence – to find it openly and present the same “secret” materials that the FSB says. At the stage of the preliminary investigation, he was categorically denied this.

According to lawyers, Ivan Safronov, dressed in the habit of jeans and a sweater, literally “rushed into battle.” “I even had to ask him to be more restrained and maybe a little more serious, but he really wanted to speak out, explain his position to the court, do what the investigation did not allow or did not want to hear for many months,” defender Daniil Nikiforov told Kommersant. , who also noticed that Ivan is still very cheerful and ready for the most serious struggle for his honorable name. He also noted that the court, at the request of the accused, supported by lawyers, adjourned the hearing until next week. The defendant, like his representatives, wanted to get extra time to study the materials of the criminal case. It should be reminded that, as Kommersant told Kommersant, the investigation limited the accused and his defense in reading the volumes collected by FSB investigators and did not allow lawyers to make any extracts, even from non-secret materials, for reasons of secrecy.

Now Ivan Safronov himself will be brought to the Moscow City Court every day from the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center, and his defenders will come there to study the case, copies of which are prohibited. “We will finish reading what we did not finish reading and remember what we forgot,” Mr. Nikiforov explained.

As Kommersant reports, Ivan Safronov, who was detained by FSB operatives in the summer of 2020, is charged with two criminal episodes, one of which was allegedly committed “in complicity with another person.” “The investigation has established and documented the facts of long-term, during 2015-2019, Safronov’s discovery and collection of secret and top-secret information, including on Russia’s military-technical cooperation with member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and countries The Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, “the supervisory agency said. According to the prosecution, Ivan Safronov systematically passed on the information gathered to representatives of foreign intelligence, “realizing that this information could be used by member states of the NATO bloc against the security of the Russian Federation.” It is noted that “illegal actions were committed by Safronov on a fee basis, as well as using encryption methods.”

Sergey Sergeev


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