Laurent Vinatier, a French national arrested in Moscow earlier this June on allegations of gathering intelligence on the Russian military, is set to appeal his detention in

court this Thursday morning.

Vinatier was apprehended on 6 June and subsequently remanded in custody until at least 5 August. During an initial court hearing on 8 June, Vinatier, who works for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue—a Swiss NGO that mediates conflicts outside official diplomatic channels—admitted that he had not registered as a "foreign agent." He claimed ignorance of a recent Russian law mandating such registration.

However, the Russian Investigative Committee suspects Vinatier of collecting information on Russian military activities that "could be used against State security."

The charges have raised concerns about the potential for more severe accusations beyond the failure to register as a foreign agent, an offense that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

The Moscow court that conducted the initial hearing also noted that Vinatier's personal belongings had been "temporarily seized." Photo by Pavel Kazachkov from Moscow, Russia, Wikimedia commons.