MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. The internal security branch of the Moscow police force has found that police personnel in the city’s western administrative district committed violations in detaining journalist Ivan Golunov, of the internet resource Meduza, the Moscow police force’s press-service told TASS.
A police spokesman said that in the process of preliminary investigation of a criminal case that was opened against Ivan Golunov under Article 30 and 228.1 of the Criminal Code (attempted sale of narcotic drugs) and eventually dropped due to the lack of evidence the internal security branch of the Moscow police force exposed a number of violations committed by officials in their detective work.
A decision was made to transfer this criminal case to the office of the Moscow prosecutor for its eventual handover to the Investigative Committee.
The Interior Ministry plans to create a special unit to fight police abuse concerning drug-related cases, Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said.
Golunov was detained on a central street in Moscow on June 6 and searched. Police operatives claimed he carried four grams of a prohibited narcotic drug. Another five grams of cocaine was allegedly found in the journalist’s rented apartment. A court put Golunov under house arrest. The journalist pled not guilty from the very beginning. His lawyers suspect that the prohibited substances had been planted on him.
The journalist’s detention caused a popular outcry. His colleagues picketed the head office of the Moscow police force at 38, Petrovka Street.
On June 11, after comprehensive analysis and examinations all charges were lifted from the journalist and he was released. On June 13, President Putin dismissed the chief of the police force in Moscow’s Western Administrative District Andrei Puchkov and chief of the Moscow police force’s drug control department Yuri Devyatkin.