MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The case of Ivan Safornov, an advisor to the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, is based on criminal intelligence, his lawyer Ivan Pavlov told TASS.
"Few investigative activities have been carried out. As far as I understand, the case is based on criminal intelligence," Pavlov said.
According to the lawyer, Safronov will soon be questioned as a defendant. He has been charged with high treason but refused to plead guilty.
According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Safronov was recruited by Czech intelligence in 2012. Eventually, he collected information on Russia’s defense cooperation with African countries and the Russian military’s activities in the Middle East in 2017 and passed it to the Czech Office for Foreign Relations and Information. However, the information was actually meant for US intelligence agencies. Safronov, who used to be a reporter for the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers, became an adviser to the Roscosmos CEO on May 18, 2020.
Safronov was detained on July 7, a case was opened under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code (high treason). Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court placed him in custody until September 6. He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.