Kaspersky Labs’ head of investigations, Ruslan Stoyanov, has reportedly been picked up in Russia on charges of treason. Stoyanov, who was mostly involved with looking into cybercrime in Russia. It is unknown why he stands accused of treason, but Kaspersky Labs says that it has nothing to do with his work at the company.
— Kaspersky Lab (@kaspersky) January 25, 2017
Stoyanov reportedly worked for the cybercrime unit in Russia’s Ministry of the Interior. Which would be where the supposed illegal activity took place. Curiously, a division head of the FSB – Sergei Mikhailov – was also arrested in the same probe. Russian newspaper Kommersant says that the investigation was exploring money received by Stoyanov from foreign companies.
The paper also says that Stoyanov is being charged under article 275 of Russia’s criminal code. Article 275 offers broad terms for the government to prosecute anyone who receives funds from a foreign state or organisation regarding the national security of Russia. This may also result in a secret military tribunal, instead of a regular case in the criminal courts.
It is unlikely that we will ever find out what exactly Stoyanov did to be charged with treason, as Russia doesn’t seem to want anyone to find out. However, speculation is rife considering the timing of the arrest and the release of classified documents accusing Russia of interfering with the 2016 US Presidential election.