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The Aftermath of Journalist Ivan Golunov’s Case, Explained

Ivan Golunov Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested in June on fabricated drug charges and released days later following an unprecedented public outcry. The court dropped all charges against him.

Five months after he was released, the criminal case into drug trafficking is still ongoing. Authorities have said they would investigate those who fabricated the charges against Golunov, but the names of those responsible haven’t yet been revealed. On Monday, it was announced that the case will be classified. 

Here are the main highlights from the months since Golunov’s release: 

June 13: President Vladimir Putin fires two high-ranking police generals involved in the case.

July 1: More than 30 news outlets publish the investigation that Golunov had been working on before his arrest.

July 9: Moscow police chief Sergei Popov dismisses five officials in Moscow’s police department who handled Golunov’s arrest. 

Sept. 26: The police officials who detained Golunov and were fired file a lawsuit to be rehabilitated in the police force, which the court rejects

Oct. 11: Golunov’s lawyer Sergei Badamshin files a complaint with Russia’s Prosecutor General that accuses the authorities of inaction while investigating the fabricated drug charges. He requests that the case be transferred to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Nov. 2: In an interview with the Baza news website, Golunov says that the authorities haven’t yet named or charged those who fabricated the drug charges against him. He adds that while he has been interviewed twice as a witness, the ongoing criminal case has stalled in recent months. 

Nov. 11: Russia’s Investigative Committee suddenly announces that all documents related to the criminal case that involved Golunov will be classified. Previously, Badamshin had said that the case would only be partially classified.

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