Moscow police claim they found more than five grams of cocaine at journalist Ivan Golunov's home
Moscow police now say they found more than five grams of cocaine when searching Meduza investigative journalist Ivan Golunov’s home. In a press release, the city’s police department also blamed one of its officers for an earlier public statement about Golunov’s arrest that featured photographs not taken at his home.
“In reality, one of the photos was taken at the suspect’s apartment. The others were taken at other addresses in the course of investigative actions against groups involved in selling drugs in the Moscow area, the suspect's connections to which are being investigated,” police explained.
Moscow’s police department also claims Golunov initially agreed to allow officers to collect forensic samples from his hands and fingernails, but later refused. This evidence is necessary to establish if Golunov ever touched the illegal drugs supposedly found in his possession.
“After the arrival of members of the public, he was asked again to give hand and fingerprint samples, at which point he agreed,” the police stated. The agency’s press release doesn’t identify these “members of the public.”
Ivan Golunov and his lawyer maintain that police officers repeatedly refused to collect biological samples for forensic analysis, and only acquiesced after attention from the news media and protracted negotiations.
Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov was arrested on June 6 on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The journalist says police planted the drugs on him.
Golunov says he was beaten in police custody (officials deny these allegations). The reporter also says he was denied access to both a lawyer and paramedics for the first several hours after he was arrested.