Russia extends pretrial detention imposed on journalist Ivan Safronov, accused of high treason

The Lefórtovo district court in Moscow has decided this Monday to extend until March the preventive detention imposed on journalist Ivan Safronov, accused of a crime of high treason and who was working for the Russian aerospace company Roscosmos when he was arrested, as reported to the agency from Sputnik news a court press officer.

“The court accepted the request for the investigation and extended the precautionary measure consisting of the deprivation of liberty of the defendant Safronov until March 7, 2021,” he said. The court hearing has been held behind closed doors because the investigation of the case is classified as secret.

Safronov’s lawyer, Iván Pavlov, has assured that he will appeal the court’s decision and has indicated that this Monday he has presented evidence that his client is not guilty of the crimes he is accused of. “The investigation continues to conceal the evidence against Iván, including information on the charges brought against him, on what transmission of information is being discussed,” said the lawyer.

Pavlov has said that, in defense of Safronov’s reputation, they have provided “388 endorsements from public and political figures, journalists, lawyers, educators and teachers.” On July 7, the court issued an arrest until September 6 for Safronov, who was detained the same day on charges of high treason.

Investigators suspect that Safronov was connected to one of NATO’s intelligence agencies to which he allegedly supplied information on Russia’s military-technical cooperation, defense and national security.

According to the lawyers, the investigation finds that Safronov had been collaborating with the Czech Republic’s secret services since 2012, through which he allegedly handed over information to the United States regarding Russia.

Although he was arrested while working at Roscosmos, the journalist believes that his arrest is related to one of the articles he published in the business daily ‘Kommersant’. After his arrest, the Kommersant publishing house dismissed the accusations against its former editor as absurd, while the newspaper ‘Vedomosti’, with which Safronov had also collaborated, stressed that “he is a patriot of his country” and called for all to be clarified. of the circumstances “impartially and in strict compliance with the law.”

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