Ivan Golunov and the priorities of Russian investigators

Russia: Investigative journalist Ivan Golunov tearfully thanks supporters at pre-trial hearing

The case of journalist Ivan Golunov, five months after the start of the investigation, was completely classified

Investigators have the right to classify criminal cases if necessary. This commentary was limited to the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, assessing, at the request of journalists, the decision of the Investigative Committee (IC) not to provide the court with the materials of the sensational case on the detention of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov.

“You know that the investigation has the right to classify cases based on established criteria. For the rest, I do not presume to comment, “- Peskov withdrew..

Earlier, the fact that the investigation completely classified the materials of the case of Ivan Golunov was told by his lawyer Sergei Badamshin. This surprise was revealed at the meeting of the Basmanny Court held on the eve of the defense complaint about the inaction of the investigators. For five months the case has not moved off dead center.

According to the lawyer, the criminal case is classified “from cover to last page, without explanation.” He admitted that this is the first time he is faced with such a fact..

Thus, from the police, who without any reason arrested the journalist, planted drugs on him, falsified evidence and beat Golunov during interrogations, while everything is like water off a duck’s back. Except for several officials dismissed from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The prosecutor’s office is also inactive, not responding to the petitions of Golunov’s lawyers, contrary to the established procedure. As a reminder, the journalist managed to avoid police persecution and found himself free thanks to the extremely powerful public support and solidarity shown by his colleagues. All charges against him have been officially dropped.

Ivan Golunov himself on his Facebook page on Monday offered to conduct a public investigation into the actions of police officers. Here is what he said in an exclusive interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America.

Victor Vladimirov: Is there any reaction from the authorities to your loud statements with your lawyer?

Ivan Golunov: There is no clear reaction. Although in addition to us, other journalists made inquiries to the UK, but all in vain. The UK ignores all appeals to its address. I know that journalists also asked Dmitry Peskov questions about my case. But comments followed from him in the spirit that the investigation is working and it will be sorted out. In the case of Oleg Kashin, the investigation has been working for 9 years. It turns out that the investigators again do not need to be fiddled with and wait about the same amount … In general, as long as the wall is impenetrable, and we see changes only for the worse. If at the first court session the investigator said that part of the case was classified, then yesterday we were told about the decision to classify it in its entirety from beginning to end. If this is true, then the investigator immediately disclosed state secrets, saying that the investigation was extended to 40 months..

V.V.: How can you explain such an attitude to your case??

I.G.: I don’t know, probably there are influential forces that do not want all the guilty to be punished, so that they can objectively understand the situation. We probably faced opposition from their side..

V.V.: You offered to conduct a public inquiry. How feasible is this idea in Russian conditions?

Ivan Golunov and the priorities of Russian investigators

I.G.: There are many investigative journalists in Russia. And since the (law enforcement) system is failing to carry out the investigation, maybe we can help them establish the truth in this case. You should probably try to go this way. Previously, I tried not to show initiative, so as not to interfere with the investigation. But it seems to me that in five months it is possible to fully establish, if not establish the truth in full, then at least move at least one step forward..

V.V.: Can your business be let down on the brakes and what is the risk??

I.G.: There is a danger that if the perpetrators in my story go unpunished, the situation may repeat itself in one form or another with one of my colleagues, especially in the regions. Accordingly, this gives particular importance to my case. Here I don’t even want to repeat the platitudes that any crime should be investigated, and the perpetrators should get what they deserve..

V.V.: It is characteristic that, for example, in relation to the Moscow case, the investigators are much more efficient. This approach is not surprising?

I.G.: Probably, this is how priorities are set. In fact, in many other cases, even those involving intricate murders, investigators achieve significant results in a shorter time. There is no progress in my business. Although there is my testimony, video recordings of surveillance cameras and other facts. It seems to me that this is not a very difficult matter in order to understand its essence. They (the investigators) probably think differently and are very enthusiastic about cases involving throwing empty plastic bottles at Rosgvardia officers, which scares them so much.

  • Victor Vladimirov


Ivan Golunov and the priorities of Russian investigators

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