Russian court arrests ex-policemen allegedly involved in planting drugs on journo

A Moscow court has ruled to take Roman Feofanov and Denis Konovalov into custody till March, 29. The former employees of the drug trafficking control department of the Internal Affairs Directorate in Moscow participated in the detention of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in the summer of 2019.

In addition, Russia’s Investigative Committee is seeking the arrest of Maxim Umetbayev, Akbar Sergaliyev and Igor Lyakhovets, who also had their role in detaining Golunov. None of the five defendants pleaded guilty. The former police officers are accused of abuse of authority, falsification of evidence and possession of drugs.

On June 6, Ivan Golunov was detained and beaten by the police. The special correspondent of Meduza media outlet was accused of attempted large scale drug sale. Colleagues and human rights activists believed the case to be a revenge for the investigations of Golunov and claimed that the drugs had been planted on him by the siloviki. The incident triggered a wave of solidarity and massive public outcry, which the Russian authorities might have taken into account when taking a decision to free Golunov and stop criminal proceedings.

It should be noted that Muscovites took to the streets to protest against criminal frame-ups. Amid the scandal, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the dismissal of two Moscow police major-generals.

Russian journalist Ivan Golunov persecuted for professional activities