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Investigative Committee states no instigators in Golunov case, attorney says

The policemen allegedly planted drugs on the journalist to improve their crime solving rate, according to the investigators

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The Investigative Committee came to the conclusion that there were no instigators in the case of journalist Ivan Golunov, and the policemen allegedly planted drugs on him to improve their crime solving rate. That is according to the lawyer of Igor Lyakhovets, who is the main defendant in the case of the illegal detention of the journalist.

"The investigators did not try to identify the instigator of the case. Moreover, according to the Investigative Committee, the policemen planted drugs on the journalist in order to improve their crime solving rate and get a citation. We do not agree with this position, we consider the case of Lyakhovets and other defendants be framed," lawyer Alexey Kovrizhkin told TASS.

Golunov case

Golunov, an investigative correspondent working for the Riga-based Meduza online newspaper, was detained in downtown Moscow on June 6, 2019. According to police, the reporter was carrying four grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug, and five grams of cocaine had apparently been discovered during a search of his rented apartment. Moscow’s Nikulinsky District Court placed the reporter under house arrest. Golunov’s defense attorney said that the drugs could have been planted on his client. All charges were eventually dropped, and Golunov was set free on June 11.

On December 19, 2019, it became known that Russia’s Investigative Committee had opened criminal cases against five former police officers following Golunov’s detention.

On January 30, 2020, the Basmanny Court in Moscow arrested former head of synthetic drug trafficking police department of Moscow’s Western Administrative District Igor Lyakhovets, former employees of the department Denis Konovalov, Roman Feofanov, Akbar Sergaliev and Maxim Umetbaev, who were involved in the arrest of Golunov. They are accused of abuse of office, falsification of evidence and drug trafficking. Later, at the request of the investigation, the court ruled to transfer Konovalov under house arrest.