Former Russian Journalist's Treason Trial Set To Begin

MOSCOW -- The trial of Ivan Safronov, a prominent former journalist accused of high treason in a case widely considered to be politically motivated, will start on April 4.

The Moscow City Court announced the decision on March 22 after it prolonged Safronov's pretrial detention by another six months.

The 31-year-old journalist, who covered the defense industry for the newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, is also a former adviser to the head of Russian space agency Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin.

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


If convicted he faces up to 25 years in prison.

Safronov has repeatedly denied the accusations and his supporters have held pickets in Moscow and other cities demanding his release.

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