Russian journalist Golunov released after drug case against him dropped

11.06.2019 20:44

Russian journalist Golunov released after drug case against him dropped

Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov has been released from house arrest as the criminal case against him was dropped due to a lack of evidence. His arrest sparked widespread protests and allegations of police misconduct.

The journalist appeared at the Investigative Committee building in Moscow late on Tuesday to have his ankle monitor removed. A large crowd of supporters and reporters – as well as his dog – awaited him outside.

Golunov revealed that he has no plans to investigate his own case, stating that there would be “a conflict of interests” in doing so.

“I'll continue to pursue the work I've been doing. I'll make investigations, since I have to justify the trust of those who supported me. That [support] has been, indeed, fantastic,” the journalist told reporters.

As for now, he plans to “get himself together” and wants to spend some time with his family to relax after the whole traumatizing affair.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia's Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said the evidence gathered by a Moscow narcotics unit, which accused Golunov of being a drug dealer, was found to be invalid and all the charges against him were dropped. Police officers, who are suspected of framing the journalist, have been suspended while an internal investigation goes on.

Golunov was detained on Thursday, with police officers claiming they found drugs on him and at his apartment and accused him of drug dealing. The journalist denied all the allegations, claiming that the evidence was planted by the police and the whole case was a set-up in retaliation for his investigative journalism. The case triggered widespread outrage in Russia, with many fellow journalists and other public figures rallying in support of Golunov, and accusing law enforcement of misconduct.