Russian investigators have launched a criminal case into abuse of power against police officers who detained investigative journalist Ivan Golunov last year, Golunov said Monday.
The Meduza investigative journalist was arrested in June on drug charges he argued were fabricated and released days later after an unprecedented public outcry. Police dropped all charges against him, but the drug case is still ongoing and efforts to apprehend the officers who arrested him had stagnated.
A senior investigator informed Golunov in a letter that authorities opened a criminal inquiry into exceeding powers, according to a photo of the letter posted on his social media. The letter was dated Dec. 18.
On Dec. 19, President Vladimir Putin announced criminal charges against five police officers who had arrested Golunov but didn’t specify which charges they were.
Abuse of power charges carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, if the defendants are found guilty. The letter did not indicate which or how many police officers would face charges.
Update: An investigator later informed Golunov that he has been named a victim in the abuse of power case, he wrote on social media.