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Ivan Golunov transferred from hospital to courtroom; defense attorneys given 15 minutes to examine all case materials as hearing begins

Source: Meduza

Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov has been released from Moscow’s City Hospital No. 71 and transferred to the Nikulinsky District Court for a hearing to determine under what conditions he will await trial for drug charges. Investigators have requested that Golunov be jailed as his case proceeds.

The hospital’s lead doctor, Alexander Myasnikov, told Interfax that Golunov had a hematoma on his left cheekbone but that no head injury was confirmed. Multiple doctors who examined Golunov before his hospitalization gave Golunov preliminary diagnoses of a concussion, possible broken ribs, and hematomas. Myasnikov runs a program on a prominent state-owned Russian television station. Pavel Chikov, who leads the international human rights group Agora, argued that the doctor is also close with prominent Russian state journalist Vladimir Solovyov and that the choice to bring Golunov to Hospital No. 71 was likely a deliberate one.

Alexander Myasnikov at a demonstration in support of Vladimir Putin. The doctor is standing to the left of Putin himself. March 3, 2018
Mikhail Metsel / TASS / Vida Press

Chikov also reported that the Nikulinsky District Court granted Golunov’s attorneys only 15 minutes to examine all case materials related to the journalist’s potential means of confinement. This occurred after the court claimed to have lost the order to allow Golunov’s own attorney, Olga Dinze, to represent him; a state-appointed attorney was brought in to examine the materials instead. Large crowds of journalists and protesters have gathered outside the court, and Meduza journalists have been permitted to enter and capture video footage of Golunov. The hearing began at 8:49 PM.

On June 8, Golunov was presented with charges of attempting to sell drugs on a large scale. The statute under which he was charged carries a sentence of 10 – 20 years in prison. The journalist argues that police officers planted drugs in his backpack and apartment.

After Golunov was arrested on June 6, he was not permitted to contact an attorney for 16 hours. Police beat the Meduza correspondent but did not permit him to call an ambulance. Police also refused for a full day to take biological samples from Golunov that could confirm his innocence.