- Title: Russia detains ex-journalist, accusing him of passing secrets to West
- Date: 7th July 2020
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JULY 7, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF KOMMERSANT JOURNALIST, ELENA CHERNENKO, STANDING WITH PLACARD IN SUPPORT OF SAFRONOV (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KOMMERSANT JOURNALIST, ELENA CHERNENKO, SAYING: "I'm shocked by the accusations. I will never believe in my life that he could commit state treason, collaborate with special services of NATO countries, transfer them some information for money. I do not believe it, I think that he apparently crossed someone's road, now they accuse him of this. It's very scary that this is happening in our country." POLICEMAN STANDING NEAR FLOWERS VARIOUS OF CHERNEKO BEING DETAINED VARIOUS OF JOURNALIST STANDING WITH PLACARD, TALKING TO POLICE VARIOUS OF POLICE VARIOUS OF JOURNALIST BEING DETAINED VARIOUS OF POLICE DETAINING JOURNALIST WITH PLACARD KOMMERSANT JOURNALIST KIRILL KRIVOSHEEV WALKING PAST (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KOMMERSANT JOURNALIST, KIRILL KRIVOSHEEV, SAYING: "We do not believe that Ivan committed treason. We believe that this case should be investigated as publicly as possible. This will help us to find confirmation that everything about it is wrong. He is the most decent person. I and my colleagues are not the only ones to say that, but also his new employer Dmitry Rogozin (head of Roscosmoc, Russian space agency)." POLICE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KOMMERSANT JOURNALIST, KIRILL KRIVOSHEEV, SAYING: "He was a journalist at first in Kommersant, for a very long time, then for a very short time in Vedomosti. He published materials that many did not like. I cannot directly connect it, but if Roscosmos says it (detention) is not related to working in Roscosmos, there is nothing left but journalism." POLICE VARIOUS OF POLICE DETAINING JOURNALIST POLICE SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST WITH PLACARD
- Embargoed: 21st July 2020 16:42
- Keywords: Ivan Safronov Lefortovo court Roskosmos Russiam journalist arrest court detention treason
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA006CLTAFYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: FOR SAFRONOV'S DETENTION AND KREMLIN COMMENT SEE EDIT 2123
Russian security forces detained a former journalist who works as an aide to the head of Russia's space agency on Tuesday (July 7) and accused him of treason, saying he had passed military secrets to an unnamed NATO power.
Footage released by the FSB security service showed Ivan Safronov being detained outside his Moscow flat by armed agents who searched him before putting him into a van.
Safronov denied passing state secrets to a foreign power during his interrogation, TASS news agency reported.
Safronov, who has covered military affairs for two national newspapers, faces up to two decades in jail if found guilty. His trial is expected to be held behind closed doors because of its sensitive nature.
His detention raised fears among journalists of a new wave of repression, and staff at Kommersant, one of his former newspapers, said in an editorial that the allegations looked absurd because he was a real patriot.
Some of Safronov's former journalist colleagues protested outside FSB headquarters before being detained.
The FSB accused Safronov of working for an unnamed foreign intelligence service.
"Safronov, carrying out tasks for one of the NATO countries' intelligence services, gathered and handed over to its representative state secrets and information about military-technical cooperation and about the defense and security of the Russian Federation," it said.
Safronov's lawyer, Oleg Eliseyev, said he had not yet been given access to his client.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he did not believe the charges were related to Safronov's work as a journalist.
The space agency said Safronov had no access to secrets and the case was not related to his work there.
TASS reported last year that prosecutors wanted to bring a case against Kommersant for disclosing a state secret.
Russian news portal the Bell said then that an article which Safronov had worked on had disappeared from Kommersant's site.
It said Egypt had agreed to buy Russian Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jets. Washington threatened Egypt with sanctions if the deal went through.
(Production: Aleksander Reshetnikov, Dmitry Madorsky, Dmitry Turlyun)
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