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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Says Lawyer Revealed State Secrets in FSB Lawsuit

A Moscow court on Wednesday ruled that lawyer Boris Kuznetsov disclosed state secrets by publicizing evidence of Federal Security Service wiretapping practices.

At the behest of the City Prosecutor's Office, the Tverskoi District Court ruled that Kuznetsov disclosed the secrets when he appealed to the Constitutional Court over an FSB wiretap of his client, former Federation Council Senator Levon Chakhmakhchyan, Interfax reported.

Kuznetsov has defended numerous high-profile clients who have run afoul of authorities, including Educated Media Foundation head Manana Aslamazian and arms control researcher Igor Sutyagin, a scientist sentenced by a jury to 15 years in prison in 2004 on high treason charges.

Kuznetsov has insisted that the bugging of Chakhmakhchyan's phone was a violation of the former senator's human rights and therefore could not be considered a state secret. He has also said the bugging itself was unlawful as it was carried out when Chakhmakhchyan enjoyed immunity from prosecution as a senator.

Kuznetsov, who, citing illness, was not present at Wednesday's hearing, now has 10 days to appeal the ruling, Interfax reported. If charged and convicted, he could face up to three years in prison.