Russian court jails top cyber security executive for 14 years in treason case

  • World
  • Wednesday, 26 Jul 2023

People, including supporters of founder of Group-IB cybersecurity firm Ilya Sachkov charged with treason, gather in a court building during a hearing in Moscow, Russia July 26, 2023. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court on Wednesday convicted Ilya Sachkov, a top cyber security executive, of treason and jailed him for 14 years in a case which state news agency TASS said centred on allegations he had passed classified information to foreign spies.

Sachkov, who denied wrongdoing, helped found Group-IB, once one of Russia's most prominent cybersecurity firms which announced earlier this year it had cut ties with its original market.

Sachkov, 37, who is no longer associated with Group-IB but owns a share in its former Russian business, was arrested in September 2021 by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) on treason charges in a case that was classified.

His former colleagues who bought Group-IB's Russian business and renamed it F.A.C.C.T said in a statement that his legal team would appeal his conviction and ask President Vladimir Putin to intervene.

At the time of his arrest, Group-IB focused on investigating high-tech crimes and online fraud, including in Russia, with a global client base that included banks, energy companies, telecoms firms and Interpol.

Sachkov had ruffled official feathers a year before his arrest when he stood up at an event attended by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

In the speech, which was shown on state TV, Sachkov accused the authorities of allowing a prominent Russian criminal hacker to go about his business unimpeded, criticised the appointment of someone he said was a former spy to a body overseeing the export of advanced technologies, and accused Putin's cybersecurity envoy of making toxic statements.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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