Russia Jails Former Top Cyber-Cop in U.S.-Linked Treason Case

(Bloomberg) -- A top former Russian cybersecurity officer was jailed for 22 years after a court convicted him of treason for alleged links to U.S. intelligence.

Moscow District Military Court ordered that Sergei Mikhailov, who worked in the Federal Security Service’s information-security division, serve his sentence in a high-security prison. Ruslan Stoyanov, a manager at Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity company, was also convicted of treason and sentenced to serve 14 years.

While few details emerged from the secret case, there were hints potentially linking the central figures to espionage, election hacking and the breach of hundreds of millions of Yahoo! Inc email accounts. Two other men charged in the investigation, businessman Georgiy Fomchenkov and Dmitry Dokuchaev, a member of Mikhailov’s staff, have pleaded guilty to U.S. ties and will be sentenced later, according to two people familiar with the case, who asked not be identified because they’re not authorized to discuss it.

Stoyanov, a former Interior Ministry cybersecurity officer, worked closely with Mikhailov’s department at the FSB as part of an anti-DDoS project that Kaspersky Lab developed for clients in Russia, according to a person familiar with the company. Mikhailov, Dokuchaev and Stoyanov were charged with treason after they were accused of “having contacts with” U.S. intelligence, according to Ivan Pavlov, a defense lawyer in the case, who said in 2017 that officials had offered few details and “what we know is only the tip of the iceberg.”

“The case against this employee does not involve Kaspersky Lab” and predates his employment at the company, spokeswoman Olga Rodicheva said last week by email. “We do not possess details of the investigation,” she said.

The men were all arrested in late 2016, shortly after Donald Trump became U.S. president-elect. The Kremlin later dismissed suggestions of links between the case and alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections, which it denies.

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