Russian Activist, App Developer Held In Yekaterinburg For Drug
February 25, 2020
A Yekaterinburg court has remanded a cybersecurity firm owner and former
activist in the opposition Anti-Corruption Foundation to nearly two
months in pretrial detention for possession of the drug ecstasy.
A native of St. Petersburg residing in Estonia, Aleksandr Litreyev was
detained on February 22 at a hotel lobby in Russia's
fourth-most-populous city after police said they found two pills of the
psychoactive recreational drug during a search.
Their combined weight was 97 grams, police said.
Litreyev's defense asked for house arrest but prosecutors argued the
suspect wasn't registered in Russia and was a flight risk.
The founder of Vee Security Russia admitted his guilt, repented, and
promised to cooperate with investigators and offered to surrender his
He will appeal the ruling, local media reported, citing his lawyer.
According to prosecutors, Litreyev arrived by plane to Yekaterinburg on
February 22, met his 19-year-old girlfriend, and both went to purchase
the pills that he had ordered online.
Litreyev said the police knew who he was and what he does for a living.
He is a co-developer of the Red Button application that allows people
detained at protests to expeditiously inform others, including rights
groups, of their situation. The app automatically recognizes the
location of the police station to where the detainee is taken.
company has also provided access to a proxy server that allowed users to
bypass a firewall imposed by the Russian authorities that prevented
access to the encrypted messaging app Telegram.
After its release, Russia's telecommunications regulator issued a
warning to Litreyev saying his proxy server could be blocked for
He also created the Russian Elephant project, a database for storing
information on alleged abuse of power by various government officials,
including the use of violence against people at rallies, and to identify
those who carried out the violence.
He will be held at a pretrial detention center until April 22.
If found guilty of "illegally buying, possessing, transporting, making,
or processing narcotics without the intent to sell," Litreyev faces a
maximum prison sentence of three years or two years of correctional