Russia frees, drops charges against journalist Golunov in «triumph of law»

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Russian authorities have freed journalist Ivan Golunov from Latvian-based news outlet Meduza. The authorities also dropped all charges against the man, which, Golunov’s lawyer says, amounts to the triumph of law.

Russian state news agency TASS reports that the investigative journalist was released on Tuesday, June 11, after being detained on June 6 over charges of drug possession and trafficking.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev stated 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 has been released from house arrest. The materials of the internal probe were referred from the Russian 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, TASS reports.

Dismissing the criminal case against Ivan Golunov and suspending the police officers, who apprehended him, signifies that the authorities have recognized a systemic problem, Golunov’s lawyer Sergey Badamshin commented to TASS 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.

The lawyer 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,» Badamshin evaluated.

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