MOSCOW, December 12 (RAPSI) – The reason behind an 800,000-ruble (nearly $14,000) fine imposed on Telegram Messenger LLP is its refusal to disclose data on correspondence transferred by defendants in a criminal case over terror attack in St. Petersburg metro, RAPSI correspondent reports from the courtroom.

Two of the phone numbers belonged to the defendants in the criminal case, a lawyer representing the company said, adding that they used WhatsApp messenger but not Telegram.

On October 26, Telegram appealed a ruling of the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow fining the company 800,000 rubles (nearly $14,000) for refusing to provide the Federal Security Service (FSB) with information on message decoding concerning several users.

According to one of Telegram’s arguments listed by lawyer Pavel Chikov, the court did not check if the company even has the data, which is of interest to FSB. He noted that the information in question was not replicated on the company’s servers and that messenger had no technical means to abide by the ruling.

On October 16, the court found Telegram guilty of failure to store and (or) furnish information on users and their messages to law enforcement agencies.

In June, head of the communications watchdog Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov requested the Telegram management to comply with the Russian legislation or face blocking of the messenger.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has agreed to register the service in Russia. However, he refused to abide by “laws incompatible with Telegram privacy policy,” Durov wrote on his VKontakte (VK) page in late June.

In July, Durov reportedly received the FSB requests to provide information for decoding messages of six app users. In September, law enforcement authorities drew up administrative protocols against Telegram because of law violation, as Durov failed to reply for the request.

According to the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information”, organizers of information distribution on the Internet must submit information about users and their messages to the authorized governmental bodies conducting investigative activities and ensuring the state security.