23 Oct 2023 18:14

Appeals court upholds sentence on Group-IB founder Sachkov, who got 14 years in penal colony for high treason

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) - The First Court of Appeals of general jurisdiction has upheld the sentence on Ilya Sachkov, founder of the Group-IB company (now F.A.C.C.T.), sentenced to 14 years in a high-security penal colony for high treason, an Interfax correspondent has reported.

"Moscow City Court's sentence of July 26, 2023 is upheld, the appeal is declined," the court said in its decision.

The trial, like the trial in the first-instance court, was held behind closed doors as the criminal case materials are classified. The court only read the introductory and final parts of the judgement.

Sachkov's lawyers earlier insisted on his innocence.

Sachkov's lawyers told reporters after the hearing on Monday an appeal would be filed with a cassation court.

The Moscow City Court found Sachkov guilty of high treason and sentenced him to 14 years in a high-security penal colony with freedom restriction for one year and a fine of 500,000 rubles.

The court established that "acting on an assignment from a foreign intelligence service, Sachkov collected information constituting a state secret and passed it to its representatives in 2011," the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said.

The factual allegations were not stated in the final part of the judgement, but it noted that the case materials contain evidence such as various technical devices, in particular, a mobile phone and laptop, as well as name cards of FBI officials, employees of the U.S. and British embassies in Russia and employees of the UK's Foreign Office.

Sachkov's lawyers said the charges against him are not associated with Group-IB operations.

Bloomberg said, citing its sources, that Sachkov could have passed information about the Fancy Bear hacker group, believed to have connections with the Russian Armed Forces, to the United States.

Sachkov was arrested on September 29, 2021.

Sachkov himself denied any wrongdoing. He said through his lawyer that he views his case as "a new Dreyfus affair", adding that he is "a Russian engineer", and "not a traitor, not a spy, not a betrayer."