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Russian journalist Golunov's release signals recognition of systemic problem — lawyer

Lawyer Sergey Badamshin said that Ivan Golunov's release represents victory and triumph of law
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov

MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Dismissing the criminal case against Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov and suspending the police officers that apprehended him signifies that the authorities have recognized a systemic problem, Golunov's lawyer Sergey Badamshin said on Tuesday.

"It is very good that joint efforts of all those who supported Ivan made the Interior Ministry recognize the systemic problem and start taking concrete measures aimed at resolving it," Badamshin said.

He said that Golunov's release represents victory and triumph of law. "In Golunov's case, law and justice won in the end. This is much more than simply a dismissal of a criminal case against an innocent person," he noted.

Golunov case

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.