Thu, 13 Aug 2020

Russia detains ex-journalist on treason charges

News24
08 Jul 2020, 04:12 GMT+10

US journalist arrested in Indonesia over alleged visa violation

Safronov, who joined Roscosmos as a media advisor in May, is expected to appear in court later on Tuesday.

He previously worked as a journalist for Russian daily newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti.

Citing a legal source, the TASS news agency reported last year that prosecutors wanted to bring a civil case against Kommersant for disclosing an unspecified state secret.

The Bell online news portal pointed out at the time that an article which Safronov had worked on had subsequently disappeared from Kommersant's site.

The article, which remains unavailable, said that Egypt had signed a deal with Russia to buy more than 20 Sukhoi SU-35 multi-role fighter jets.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo subsequently threatened Egypt with sanctions if it went ahead with the purchase.

Safronov said he was forced to quit Kommersant last year after the newspaper's publishing house took issue with an article he worked on which suggested that Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the upper house of parliament, might leave her post.

A spokesperson for Matviyenko, who remains the upper house's speaker, dismissed the report at the time.

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