Ivan Safronov: Journalist Who Revealed Scam in Sale of Russian Jets To Cairo Is Sentenced To 22 Years in Prison

A Russian journalist who revealed a scandal in the sale of Russian jets to Cairo has been sentenced to 22 years in prison. Ivan Safronov is sentenced by the Moscow court for collecting secret information about the Russian military. But Kommersant reporter denies the accusation saying his conviction is directly related to his journalism.

Safronov is a defense journalist at Kommersant and Vedomosti, top newspapers in Russia.

Ivan Safronov
Ivan Safronov Twitter

Case Against Safronov Is Against Retaliation of An Article

The case against Safronov was retaliation for a 2019 article in the newspaper Kommersant on Moscow's sale of fighter jets to Cairo that triggered a diplomatic scandal, the BBC Russian Service reported last week, citing correspondence between Egyptian and Russian officials, according to The Moscow Times.

Safronov's conviction is Russia's first treason conviction for a journalist after 2001.

Safronov's lawyers Will Appeal The Verdict

As the verdict was read in the court, Safronov's supporters applauded the journalist chanting 'freedom'. Safronov's lawyers have claimed that they will appeal the verdict that was read out.

The verdict was condemned by human rights activists, who called it a cruel punishment.

Cruel Punishment

Human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov stated that Safronov has been sentenced to a savage, demonstratively cruel punishment, that reflects the current realities in Russia.

"I will write to everyone. Write to me. I love you," said Safronov while he was being taken out of the courtroom.

Some rights experts have stated that the verdict is designed to make everyone afraid.
Ivan Pavlov, the lawyer who was part of Safronov's defense, stated that any prison term in this case even one year is too much.

The case has involved significant legal violations, according to Safronov's legal team, who points out that even prosecution witnesses said in court that Safronov "did not break the law, reported Times.

Reports claimed that state secrets related to Safronov's case are mostly available online, therefore, the case against him was aimed at his journalistic work.

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