Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Court Extends Ex-Journalist Safronov's Pretrial Detention By Three Months

Ivan Safronov

The Moscow City Court on June 30 extended by three months the pretrial detention of prominent former journalist Ivan Safronov, who is accused of treason.

The 30-year-old Safronov, a former adviser to the head of Russia's space agency Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, covered the defense industry for the newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti.

He was arrested on July 7, 2020, on allegations that he had passed secret information to the Czech Republic in 2017 about Russian arms sales in the Middle East.

The new court order extends his pretrial detention to October 7.

Defense lawyers had asked that Safronov be released on bail and submitted more than 600 petitions from journalists and public figures in support of the measure.

Safronov has rejected the accusations against him and many of his supporters have held pickets demanding his release.

His legal defense says that investigators did not communicate to Safronov when and to whom he had allegedly passed the classified information or what it contained. All case materials are classified.

One of Safronov's defenders, lawyer Ivan Pavlov, became a suspect this spring in a separate criminal case on the disclosure of data from the journalist's case.

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