Correspondents from iStories and Meduza inspected Moscow court archives and discovered more than 140 “proficient observers” — individuals who consistently affirm in legal disputes identified with drug charges. The training is unmitigatedly illicit, however judges send individuals to jail for quite a long time dependent on these observers’ declarations.
In May 2018, 35 year-old Natalya Goloborodko contacted Moscow police with an end goal to “uncover a seller of illegal substances.” The officials chose to lead a “test buy” — Goloborodko would purchase drugs from the vendor under official watch. The police discovered two observers, and together they all went to the home of Nikolai Grigoryev, the supposed street pharmacist. When the arrangement was made, the officials captured Grigoryev. Back at the station, they seized the cash Grigoryev had supposedly gotten from Goloborodko for the medications, and — within the sight of witnesses — they discovered MDMA, amphetamines, and hash in his loft. The specialists accused Grigoryev of two checks of selling medications and one tally of endeavoring to sell (they found data about future medication bargains on his telephone). He admitted to everything upon cross examination.
In court, notwithstanding, Grigoryev kept up his guiltlessness, saying that the police constrained his admission and that Natalya Goloborodko outlined him. He confessed to knowing Goloborodka, yet demanded that he never sold her amphetamines. The police planted the cash on him, he said. Nikolai’s mom and sister said in court that they had “never associated him with managing drugs.” The wrongdoing’s just observers were the cops, Goloborodko, and the two authority witnesses.
Grigoryev ended up gathering one of them in a squad car before his condemning hearing. 38 year-old Mikhail Rakhmankin, whose duty as an authority witness was to go about as a free onlooker during the hunt, had just been attempted twice for managing drugs himself. He was in the squad car with Grigoryev on the grounds that he was at the same time under scrutiny, and the two men were being kept in a similar pretrial detainment office.
Regardless, the adjudicator decided that “the safeguard’s assessment that the hunt included observers who were subject to cops is unconfirmed.” On August 1, 2019, the Kuntsevsky District Court indicted Nikolai Grigoryev and condemned him to 11 years in jail.
iStories and Meduza’s investigation found that Grigoryev’s story is just a drop in a larger sea of fabricated drug cases. They analyzed tens of thousands of sentences and discovered more than 140 “professional witnesses” in Moscow alone; many of them were officers’ acquaintances, drug addicts, or people who had previously been convicted. Police officers regularly used these people to fabricate criminal cases, ultimately sending defendants to prison for years, despite their lawyers’ protests.