MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Broad public outcry and the "right hype" by journalists and non-governmental organizations have contributed to the criminal charges against Meduza news outlet special correspondent Ivan Golunov being dropped, political scientist and head of the international institute of the Newly Established States Alexey Martynov told TASS.
"It’s worth mentioning that the thing is not in this particular [criminal] case [being dropped], but that the public was agitated around the case of Ivan Golunov. That all this right hype was stirred by journalists and the professional community as a whole," Martynov said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said that the criminal case against journalist Ivan Golunov on suspicion of drug trafficking had been dismissed "in view of the failure to prove his participation in the crime." All charges have been dropped, and he will be released from house arrest on June 11. The materials of the internal probe were referred from the Internal Ministry’s security division to the Investigative Committee to review the legitimacy of the actions by the police officers, who had apprehended Golunov. The officers have been suspended.
Ivan Golunov was taken into custody on June 6. According to the Interior Ministry’s main Moscow office, Golunov was carrying four grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug, while five grams of cocaine were found during a search of his rented apartment. Subsequently, he was charged with drug dealing, whereupon Moscow’s Nikulinsky District Court placed the journalist under house arrest. Golunov denied all the accusations from the beginning, and his defense attorney believed that the prohibited substances had been planted.