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Meduza and Open Media report: “Russia’s Federal Security Service reportedly believes foreign intelligence agencies are plotting a special operation to sneak imprisoned journalist Ivan Safronov out of the country. Citing but not naming one of Safronov’s friends, Open Media says federal investigator Alexander Chaban raised this concern during a recent closed hearing at Moscow’s City Court, where a judge ultimately decided to extend Safronov’s pretrial detention.
Ivan Pavlov, the head of the human rights group “Team 29,” confirmed to Interfax that Chaban warned in court that Safronova would supposedly flee to a diplomatic mission or consulate and leave Russia with the help of foreign spies, if released from pretrial detention. “[Chaban’s] theory that Ivan Safronov would flee the country, despite guarantees from hundreds of his colleagues, friends, and public figures, is complete nonsense,” Pavlov complained.
Following this week’s ruling, Safronov will remain in remand prison until October 7, 2021, pending developments in his case.”