Moscow Court Sentences Group-IB Co-Founder, Ilya Sachkov to Jail for Treason
On July 26, a Moscow court sentenced Group-IB co-founder Ilya Sachkov to jail to serve 14 years for treason.
Who is Ilya Sachkov?
Ilya Sachkov is the previous founder and CEO of one of Russia’s biggest cybersecurity companies. For almost two years, he’s been arrested under charges the Russian government kept secret and restricted from public view. He joined a burgeoning list of former Russian cybercrime fighters who now serve condemnation for sketchy treason convictions.
On Wednesday, the court convicted him of treason, accusing him of passing classified information to foreign spies. His lawyer, Sergei Afanasiev said they’re not giving up and believe in Sachkov’s innocence. They will appeal further and work further.
He founded a cybersecurity and digital forensics company, Group-IB, in 2003, now headquartered in Singapore. They were immediately recognized for uncovering and disorganizing large-scale cybercrime operations. This includes those based in Russia and embezzlement from Russian companies and citizens. Although he’s no longer associated with Group IB, he owns a share in its former Russian business.
The Kremlin accused Sachkov of treason, ordering Russia’s Federal Security Service in September 2021 to arrest him, but refused to divulge any details regarding their allegations. Sachkov, on the other hand, didn’t plead guilty. He denied any offence and composedly listened to the court’s decision in a glass courtroom cage.
Before his arrest, he publicly rebuked the Russian government for disregarding the deluge of ransomware attacks from Russia. He criticised Evil Corp’s, Russian hacker head Maksim Yakubets, which according to US officials stole hundreds of millions of dollars over the past years.
What Group-IB Says?
On April 20, 2023, Group-IB cut its ties with the Russian market. Nonetheless, Ilya Sachkov will remain a significant and binding part of the company. They are unhappy and despondent by Kremlin’s brutal and prejudiced punishment, shutting Sachkov from the outside world. The whole team believes he must not be in jail, let alone serve 14 years in prison for fighting digital crime.
Sachkov wasted nearly two years in pre-trial detainment while he waited for trial, which only started on July 6, 2023. During his imprisonment, he was deprived of communication, calls, or letters from his family and friends for the first few months. Worse was, he didn’t get a fair trial, since all case materials are kept confidential.
As Sachkov stays unjustifiably detained, Group-IB says they will continue to ring true against bigotry. Likewise, they will continue holding up to run their business to fight against cybercrime.
He is the latest in an extensive list of people facing treason charges in Russia in the past years. They also include soldiers, a former journalist, scientists, and officials.
Image Credit: Group-IB press service/WikimediaCommons