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Ex-police officers accused in Golunov case to undergo open trial

Source: Meduza

The Moscow City Court will hold an open trial of the former police officers accused of staging Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov’s false arrest last summer. Hearings are scheduled to begin on November 11.

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.

During a preliminary hearing on October 28, state prosecutors sought to close the trial to both the media and the public. Ivan Golunov’s lawyer, Sergey Badamshin, insisted on an open-door trial.

“At all stages of the criminal case, I advocated for maximum openness of the court proceedings for society. I’m glad that the court supported us. Such cases should be considered publicly,” Golunov commented on the court’s decision. 

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.

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