Russian General Faces Dual Charges: Fraud And Espionage Allegations

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.08 - 2024 11:26 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Agronovsky also suggested espionage might be at play.

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Former Major General Ivan Popov, once commander of the 58th Army, faces a complex legal battle involving accusations of fraud and potential espionage leaks to Ukraine, which could sway his sentencing.

The Right to File Criminal Complaint

According to Dmitry Agronovsky, Popov's lawyer, the emergence of a channel leaking classified data to Ukraine might influence the court's decision, possibly mitigating Popov's charges Lenta writes.

Agronovsky emphasized that Popov, despite being an accused, retains the right to file a criminal complaint, which the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) must accept and investigate. Particularly significant is Popov's claim involving matters of state security.

The defense team has formally requested the SK to initiate a treason case concerning undisclosed individuals over leaked classified documents. This request stems from a criminal case initiated against a military officer in Ukraine, where sensitive information made its way into public domain, leading to a Ukrainian investigation.

Agronovsky also suggested espionage might be at play, alleging Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) involvement in acquiring Russian documents marked as "secret."

International Arrest Warrant

Popov currently faces an international arrest warrant in Ukraine as a suspect in a case involving aggressive warfare. His lawyer, Sergei Buyanovsky, highlighted that disclosures by the Kharkiv regional prosecutor's office about Popov constitute Russian state and military secrets.

Russian investigators have begun verifying Popov's claims, with pending procedural decisions based on their findings.

Popov was arrested on May 21 following a military court decision, charged with fraud involving large-scale embezzlement and allegations of metal sales for engineering structures within the Special Military Operation (SMO) zone. In early July, military investigators added charges of official misconduct to Popov's case, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Participants in the SMO have spoken positively of Popov, noting his attentive leadership towards military needs. They speculated that the alleged sale of metal constructions attributed to Popov could have been part of bartering excess supplies for needed resources, defending his actions.

If proven guilty, SMO members have urged for Popov's return to combat zones as part of his punishment.