Russian-annexed Crimea jails man for 11 years for treason

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Authorities in Russian-annexed Crimea on Friday sentenced a local man to 11 years in prison after he was convicted of passing state secrets to Ukraine.

The Supreme Court in Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, said it had convicted Ivan Yatskin of state treason and sentenced him to 11 years in jail.

"Being a Russian citizen, the defendant was found guilty of handing information that constitutes a state secret to a representative of a foreign country," the court said in a statement.

It did not disclose further details of the offences. The trial was held behind closed doors.

Prosecutors had accused Yatskin, who denies guilt, of passing state secrets to Ukraine's special services, TASS news agency reported.

A number of Russian scientists, soldiers and officials have been charged with treason in recent years after being accused of passing sensitive material to foreign countries.

Critics of the Kremlin say the charges are often unfounded and cannot be scrutinised because they are classified.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Giles Elgood)