Lawyer Ivan Pavlov published Safronov's speech, with which he intends to speak at a meeting in the Moscow City Court. The court will begin to consider the case of treason in closed session published Safronov's speech at the upcoming court session” />
Advisor to the head of Roskosmos, former journalist of Kommersant and Vedomosti Ivan Safronov, who is charged with high treason, at the first hearing in his case will ask the court for assistance in explaining the essence of the charges to him.
The Moscow City Court session will begin on April 4 at 14:00, it will be held behind closed doors. Safronov's speech, with which he intends to speak, was published by lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who participated in his defense (the Ministry of Justice entered him into the register of media-foreign agents, and the Chamber of Lawyers of St. Petersburg suspended his status as a lawyer).
“I am not in a position to defend myself against what is not formulated in the decision to bring me as an accused,” — he emphasizes. Safronov points out that the case file does not say what information constituting a state secret he collected according to the prosecution, or from whom, when and under what circumstances. In addition, he notes, the procedural documents state that “these circumstances have not been established by the investigation.”
Safronov says that he never received access to information constituting a state secret: “I did not know and could not know that the information I used in the framework of my journalistic activities and obtained from open sources allegedly belonged to information constituting a state secret. <…> I am absolutely sure that I cannot be convicted for disseminating information that I have legally and openly collected as a journalist. Information that was in the public domain.
According to Safronov, his lawyers have repeatedly asked to explain in accordance with which particular regulatory framework the information he disseminated relates to state secrets. However, in response, the investigator stated that “lawyers do not have the right to familiarize themselves with legal acts and documents of a secret nature.” “I am not in a position to refute that I did not violate laws, the existence of which I know nothing about and which they do not show me,” — says Safronov.
The ex-journalist notes that the investigation denied his request to provide access to the Network— this was necessary for Safronov in order to “show the investigator the open sources of the Internet, which contained all the information used in my work.” In addition, he says, the investigation did not include in the list of witnesses more than 40 people, who were indicated by the defense. “I am denied the right to defend myself. I am being denied the right to defense in principle,»— he said.
Safronov will ask the court to provide him with the opportunity to access the Internet, summon all defense witnesses, experts and specialists, as well as “additional unhindered study of the materials of the criminal case.”
“For a year and nine months I have been forced to say that I am guilty of treason. But I repeat and will repeat: I am not guilty,— he emphasized.
Safronov has been in a pre-trial detention center since July 7, 2020, his arrest was repeatedly extended (the last time until September 22). The maximum punishment under the article on treason (Article 275 of the Criminal Code) provides for 20 years in prison.
On March 5, the Prosecutor General's Office approved the indictment in Safronov's criminal case. According to the agency, the investigation established “the facts of a long period, throughout 2015–2019, of finding out and collecting secret and top secret information by Safronov,” including about Russia’s military-technical cooperation with the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkan Peninsula. According to the prosecutor's office, Safronov passed this data on to representatives of foreign intelligence services. The department said that Safronov did this “on a reimbursable basis”, as well as “using encryption methods.”
The FSB, in turn, stated that in 2012, when Safronov worked in ” ;Kommersante”, he was recruited by Czech intelligence, which received secret data from him, and the United States was their final recipient.
In November last year, the defense reported that political scientist Demuri Voronin, who is also suspected of treason, is involved in the case. The investigation claims that in 2015 Safronov gave him some data on the activities of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria for $248, which he sent to the University of Zurich and the German Federal Intelligence Service BND.
Safronov refused a deal with the investigation, he insists on his innocence and links the criminal prosecution with journalistic activities. He has repeatedly pointed out that the information he is accused of transmitting is publicly available on the Internet. His lawyers noted that the case file does not indicate how and from whom Safronov obtained information constituting a state secret, and complained about the actions of the FSB investigator, who forbade them to make extracts from the criminal case materials.
In Roskosmos ;, where Safronov came in May 2020, emphasize that he did not have access to state secrets and that the case was not related to work in a state corporation. Head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that Safronov, as a journalist covering topics such as the country's defense capability, “behaved correctly”, but admitted that “often his publications annoyed some officials.” “It was certainly not his plan to harm the interests of Russia. Therefore, on the very first day after his arrest, I said that I had no doubts about Safronov’s personal decency and professionalism, — notes Rogozin.
Public figures, politicians and journalists spoke in support of Safronov.
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