The Moscow City Court sentenced Ilya Sachkov, a prominent cybersecurity executive, to 14 years in jail Wednesday on charges of treason, following his conviction under Article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code.
The verdict came shortly after the state prosecutor urged the court to impose an 18-year sentence. Sachkov was arrested in 2021 by Russia’s Federal Security Service after he voiced criticisms regarding the Russian government’s response to ransomware attacks originating from its territory and consequently spent two years in pre-trial detention.
Previously, Sachkov was a co-founder of Group IB (now known as FACCT), one of Russia’s leading cybersecurity firms. However, he is no longer associated with the company. Renowned as one of Russia’s most promising entrepreneurs, Sachkov had received accolades before his arrest, even meeting Putin at the Kremlin in 2019 in honor of his accomplishments in the field of young entrepreneurship.
His trial was held behind closed doors as is customary for treason cases in Russia. However, earlier reports from the Russian state news agency TASS stated that the case revolved around allegations of Sachkov passing classified information to foreign spies which Sachkov has denied. Following the verdict, Sachkov’s legal team expressed their intent to appeal the ruling while also indicating their intention to seek President Putin’s intervention in the matter.
Group IB, now headquartered in Singapore, firmly expressed their unwavering belief in Ilya Sachkov’s innocence. In a statement, the company proclaimed, “While he remains wrongfully imprisoned, we will continue to stand up against injustice and operate our business with the same mission in mind — to fight against cybercrime.”