10 Jun 2019 13:46

Newspapers Kommersant, Vedomosti, RBC publish joint statement on 'Golunov case'

MOSCOW. June 10 (Interfax) - The newspapers Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBC have published a joint statement on the arrest of journalist Ivan Golunov. They do not find the evidence of his guilt convincing and demand a probe into the actions taken by the Interior Ministry officials who detained Golunov.

"We welcome the selection by court of a better measure of restraint than detention in a detention facility for Ivan Golunov," the statement said. "At the same time, we do not find the evidence of Ivan Golunov's guilt provided by the investigators to be convincing," the statement said. The statement also said Golunov's detention and consequent arrest could be connected to his professional activities. Therefore, the three publications are demanding "a detailed probe into the actions by the Interior Ministry officials involved in the detention of Ivan Golunov for compliance with the legislation," the publication of the results of this probe for the mass media and maximal transparency of the investigation into the case against Meduza special correspondent Golunov. The publications also promise to closely follow the investigation and demand "the observance of the law by everyone and for everyone." Besides the joint statement, the paper-based Monday editions of the three newspapers have similar first pages, which feature the poster "I am/We are Ivan Golunov."

Moscow's Nikulinsky District Court ruled on June 8 to decline the investigation's request on taking Golunov into custody and ruled to place him under house arrest until August 7.

The investigation concluded that Golunov "attempted to illegally market a large amount of narcotic substances" (Russian Criminal Code Article 30, Part 3, and Article 228.1, Part 4, Clause 'g'. He was indicted on Saturday.

The report based on which Golunov was indicted says that operatives found two packages containing N-methyl ephedrone weighing in total 3.65 grams in his backpack and a substance containing cocaine weighing 5.42 grams at his home.

Police said earlier that Golunov was detained "on Tsvetnoi Boulevard on June 6, during a search and investigative operation conducted by officials from the drug control division of the police department for Moscow's Western Administrative District."

The journalist said at the court hearing that he was innocent and was ready to cooperate with the investigation "if it plays by the fair rules of the game."