Russia on Wednesday sentenced Ilya Sachkov, co-founder of the Group-IB cybersecurity firm, to 14 years in prison on treason charges, according to an AFP journalist in the Moscow court.
Following a closed-door trial, “the court found Sachkov guilty under Article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code and sentenced him to 14 years in prison with the sentence to be served in a strict regime penal colony”, judge Alexander Rybak said.
Sachkov, 37, co-founded Group-IB in 2003. It specialises in the detection and prevention of cyberattacks and works with Interpol and several other global institutions.
Prosecutors last week requested that Sachkov be sentenced to 18 years in jail. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Sachkov was smiling as he appeared in court on Wednesday, wearing jeans and a black T-shirt, an AFP reporter said.
His mother and partner as well as several supporters were also present for the verdict.
Sachkov has been in custody since September 2021.
Few details have been made public from his trial as treason cases in Russia are typically classified.
Russian news agencies reported that Sachkov is accused of handing classified information to foreign intelligence and the charges were not connected to the work of Group-IB.
Group-IB, now headquartered in Singapore, said following the verdict that it had “full confidence in Ilya’s innocence”.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Sachkov co-founded Group-IB when he was just 17 and he was featured on the Forbes “30 under-30” list of tech entrepreneurs in 2016.
Three years later he received an “innovative breakthrough” award from President Vladimir Putin “for developments in the field of identifying and preventing cyberthreats”, according to the Kremlin.