Moments before the journalist Ivan Safronov was told he would be facing 24 years in prison, a Russian prosecutor offered him a deal.
Sign a confession, she said during a final courtroom break, and she would recommend a 12-year sentence instead. Safronov answered immediately.
“He told her to get lost,”said Evgeny Smirnov, his lawyer, in an interview. “He told her that fairly harshly.”
A Russian judge is expected to deliver a verdict on Monday in one of the most significant prosecutions against a Russian journalist in decades.
Safronov, a former military correspondent for Kommersant and Vedomosti, is facing a “record” sentence on treason charges that have been prosecuted with secret evidence behind closed doors.