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Jailed Russian Journalist Safronov Faces New Charges


Ivan Safronov (right) appears i a Moscow court with his lawyer Ivan Pavlov on July 7, 2020.

Ivan Safronov, a prominent former Russian journalist accused of high treason in a case widely considered to be politically motivated, has been additionally charged with passing classified information to a university in Switzerland and to Germany's intelligence service.

Safronov's lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, said on November 2 that the new allegations were known only once his final accusation papers were submitted.

"In addition to the accusation of allegedly passing data to a representative of the Czech intelligence service, a new charge appeared in the accusation papers -- investigators say now that in December 2015, Safronov passed some information about the activities of the Russian Federation's armed forces in Syria to political researcher Demuri Voronin, who, in turn, passed the data on to representatives of the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany," Pavlov said.

Demuri Voronin, a holder of dual Russian-German citizenship, was arrested in February on high-treason charges.

The 31-year-old Safronov, a former adviser to the head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, was arrested on July 7, 2020, on charges he passed secret information to the Czech Republic in 2017 about Russian arms sales in the Middle East.

Safronov has repeatedly denied the accusations and his supporters have held pickets in Moscow and other cities demanding his release.

Human rights organizations have issued statements demanding Safronov's release and expressing concerns over an intensifying crackdown on dissent in Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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