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Russia Seeks 18 Years in Jail for Founder of Cybersecurity Firm

Ilya Sachkov. Sergei Kiselev / Moskva News Agency

A Russian prosecutor on Friday requested an 18-year prison sentence for Ilya Sachkov, founder of one of the country's top cybersecurity firms, on treason charges.

Sachkov, 37, co-founded the Group-IB cybersecurity firm in 2003. It specializes in the detection and prevention of cyberattacks and works with Interpol and several other global institutions.

"State prosecutors requested that Sachkov be sentenced to 18 years in prison," his lawyer Sergei Afanasyev was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

A Moscow court is expected to announce its verdict on July 26. 

His arrest in 2021 came after U.S. President Joe Biden raised concerns with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow is allowing cybercrime directed at Western countries to flourish in the country. 

Treason cases in Russia are typically classified and heard behind closed doors. 

Group-IB has said its employees were "confident in their manager's innocence and honest business reputation."

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 Putin "for developments in the field of identifying and preventing cyberthreats," according to the Kremlin.

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