Five former police officers were sentenced to long jail terms by a Moscow court on Friday for planting drugs on an investigative journalist, in what supporters termed a rare acknowledgement of wrongdoing by Russian law enforcement.
The arrest of famed investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in June 2019 on fabricated drug accusations that could have put him in prison for up to 20 years provoked outrage among activists and Kremlin critics, who demanded his release.
After an unusual effort in his support, Golunov, 38, was released and the allegations against him were dismissed, The Moscow Times reports citing AFP.
President Vladimir Putin fired two top police officials in the same month for the unlawful arrest.
Golunov’s work included investigations into everything from Russia’s dubious burial sector to Moscow city hall corruption.
The narcotics were put on him as retaliation for his work, according to his fans and employer, the independent Russian-language news site Meduza.