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Putin announces felony charges against ex-cops who arrested ‘Meduza’ reporter Ivan Golunov in June. The case was launched yesterday.

Source: Meduza

At an annual press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin revealed that five police officers who arrested Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov in June on bogus drug charges are being investigated for felony offenses. The president added that he is unaware of any evidence suggesting that the officers were acting on behalf of some third party. 

It turns out that the felony investigation started just a day earlier, on December 18, according to information provided by state investigators to Golunov’s attorney, Sergey Badamshin. “Several weeks ago, the Investigative Committee maintained that it saw no grounds even to register a police report,” Badamshin told Meduza. On December 11, Golunov personally filed charges with the Federal Security Service against the officers who arrested him.

Asked about the need to “shake up and clean out” Moscow’s police force in connection with the Golunov case, Putin answered, “We’ve already been through this. It’s better not to carry out any purges,” apparently referring to the USSR’s Great Purge in the 1930s.

Days earlier, at a meeting of the Presidential Human Rights Council, Putin ignored a question about the Golunov case.

The officers who arrested Golunov are criminal investigators Roman Feofanov, Maxim Umetbayev, Akbar Sergaliyev, and Denis Konovalov, who served under Police Colonel Andrey Shchirov in Moscow’s drug control department. Investigator Igor Lopatin was also involved in the case.

In early December, a Moscow court refused to reinstate Umetbayev, Konovalov, Feofanov, and Shchirov.