Russia charges cybersecurity executive with treason – reports

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MOSCOW, Oct 7 (Businesshala) – Russia has charged the chief executive of a major Russian cybersecurity company with treason, local news agencies said on Thursday, citing sources.

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Group-IB founder and CEO Ilya Sachkov was arrested last week and detained for two months. Law enforcement officers searched the Moscow offices of his firm.

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Interfax news agency said he has been charged with revealing state secrets. It did not say what information Sachkov allegedly shared nor with whom.

Group-IB investigates high-tech crimes and online fraud with international clients which include banks, energy companies, telecom firms and Interpol.

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At the time of his arrest, which his lawyer said he would appeal, Sachkov denied charges of working with unspecified foreign intelligence services and harming Russia’s national interests, TASS reported.

TASS and RIA, both state news agencies, said on Thursday that they had been charged with sedition, giving no details.

Treason can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years. The details of such cases are rarely made public due to their classified nature.

In a letter to President Vladimir Putin published in the Russian edition of Forbes on Wednesday, Sachkov’s mother Lyudmila urged the president to release her son, calling him “an honest patriot.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the letter had not reached the presidential administration.

“I understand his mother’s emotional state. There are very serious allegations against her son,” Peskov told reporters. “But only a court can find a person guilty.”

Reporting by Gabriele Tetroult-Farber and Dmitry Antonov; Editing by John Stonestreet

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