Russian ex-police officers face up to 16 years in prison over claims they fabricated false drugs charges against Meduza journalist
Prosecutors in Moscow are reportedly seeking lengthy jail terms in the case of five former police officers accused of attempting to frame a reporter from Russian-language news site Meduza on trumped-up charges of drug possession.
Lawyers for one of the defendants confirmed that authorities have asked the judge to consider sentences of between seven and 16 years behind bars for the men, who arrested Ivan Golunov, a correspondent from the Latvian outlet, on narcotics trafficking charges in 2019. Meduza is registered as a ‘foreign agent’ by Russia’s Ministry of Justice, which says it has links to foreign funding.
Serving at the time in a specialist drugs taskforce, Igor Lyakhovets, Denis Konovalov, Akbar Sergaliev, Roman Feofanov and Maksim Umetbaev stand accused of planting the recreational drug mephedrone in the reporter’s backpack. Konovalov has already pleaded guilty.Also on rt.com Putin praises response to arrest of journalist Golunov, lashes threats to families of security services
Golunov was detained on June 6, 2019, but was released from his cell only five days later after a large-scale public outcry that saw Russian news outlets rally together to protest his innocence. Last year, Golunov's lawyer Sergey Badamshin revealed that police had officially recognized him as a "victim” in the case, and on January 20 he was summoned for questioning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously spoken out about the incident, saying that authorities had listened to criticism. "[The] intervention of the people makes a difference in today's Russia,” he claimed. “If anything, this is good… the situation is taking its natural course. Law enforcement agencies are looking into the matter. Some have been fired, some detained.”
The criminal case continues.
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