A Russian lawyer honored by Human Rights Watch just told Australian public television that Vladimir Putin has lots of dirt on Donald Trump from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant held in Moscow.
“I don’t know what they have on him, but I’m sure they have a lot from his visit,” says attorney Ivan Pavlov, who is defending two Russian citizens accused of treason for their roles in Christopher Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier.
Pavlov was just awarded the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism by Human Rights Watch for defending Russian Federation citizens accused of high treason, whose numbers have multiplied since the Russian autocrat decided to invade Ukraine. SBS reports:
In the aftermath of the dossier’s publication, there was a spate of arrests in Moscow, including leading cybersecurity expert Ruslan Stoyanov, and FSB state intelligence officers Dmitry Dokuchayev and Sergei Mikhailov – the FSB’s deputy head of cyber operations, who was reportedly marched out of a meeting with a bag over his head.
Mr Pavlov is reportedly representing more than one of them.
Before Ruslan Stoyanov was charged with treason, he used to work for the Russia-based Kaspersky Internet “Security” company – whose software is believed to be used by Putin’s intelligence services to covertly scoop up data around the world – before his dramatic arrest last January.
In a Kafkaesque twist, Russian authorities claim that his charges stem from an unrelated incident from 2010. But Reuters reports that “Russian authorities at times use old cases as a way of charging people suspected of later crimes.”
Stoyanov managed to smuggle a message out from Moscow’s infamous Lefortovo Prison to tell the world that both Vladimir Putin and the Russian state are harboring cybercriminals.
The two FSB officers were arrested just after Trump took office, leading former NSA officials to speculate that there was a connection between the two events.
The arrests happened last year right before of news broke about the suspicious death of a former KGB general close to Putin who worked as Chief of Staff to the Russian state-owned oil company boss, Igor Sechin.
“Life is hard but fortunately it’s short,” said the fatalistic attorney Pavlov to SBS about how he has become accustomed to less than fruitful conditions for justice being served by Putin’s regime. “It helps to keep optimism. And continue to work in Russia.”