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State prosecutors seek closed-door trial for police officers accused in the Golunov case
Source: TASS

State prosecutors are asking to close the trial of the police officers accused of staging Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov’s false arrest to both the media and the public, a source in the judiciary told the state news agency TASS. 

Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov was arrested in Moscow on June 6, 2019, on suspicion of attempted drug trafficking. He maintained that he wasn’t guilty and insisted that the drugs had been planted on him. Following a large-scale public campaign in support of Golunov, the criminal case against the journalist was dropped on June 11. The five police officers who arrested Golunov were fired and accused of fabricating materials in a criminal case, and illegal drug possession. Golunov has since become a victim in the case, in which he was previously a defendant.

In a comment to Meduza, Golunov’s lawyer Sergey Badamshin said that he and his client “always insisted on the most open court hearing” possible.

On October 28, the Moscow City Court held a preliminary hearing on the Golunov case. It took place behind closed doors. The court will announce the results of the preliminary hearing tomorrow (October 29).

Five former Moscow police officers stand accused in the Golunov case: Igor Lyakhovets and his former subordinates Roman Feofanov, Denis Konovalov, Maxim Umetbaev, and Akbar Sergaliev. Konovalov, who confessed to planting drugs on Ivan Golunov, was placed under house arrest. The remaining suspects are being held in pre-trial detention.

The Golunov case came before the Attorney General’s Office at the beginning of October. It was transferred to the Moscow City Court on October 21. The case materials remain classified.