Investigators say the high-profile drug-trafficking case against Russian journalist Ivan Golunov, who was wrongly arrested and released amid a public outcry in June, has been marked classified, dealing a blow to his pursuit of finding out why he was detained.
The news came during a court hearing on November 11 in Moscow on a complaint filed by Golunov's lawyer, Sergei Badamshin, which accuses investigators of failing to look appropriately into his client's wrongful arrest.
"The criminal case has been classified and labeled as secret and therefore its materials cannot be disclosed at this court hearing," an investigator said at the hearing.
Golunov, a 36-year-old journalist who works for the Latvian-based Meduza online journal, was arrested on June 6 in Moscow for allegedly attempting to sell illegal drugs.
He was released on June 11 after the charges were dropped following a public outcry. The case sparked an investigation into his detainment.
In mid-July, three police officers and their supervisor were fired for violating Golunov's rights while detaining him in early June.
After Golunov’s release in June, Russian President Vladimir Putin fired Major General Yury Devyatkin, the head of the Moscow police department's drug-control directorate, and Major General Andrei Puchkov, the police chief in Moscow's western administrative region, over the case.