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WorldDrug charges dropped in alleged setup of Russian journalist

22:06  11 june  2019
22:06  11 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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In a surprising turnaround, Russia 's interior ministry dropped drug -dealing charges against a prominent investigative reporter Tuesday and Kolokoltsev said he would ask the Russian president to dismiss two senior police officials and suspend the officers who detained the journalist Thursday.

MOSCOW—In a surprising turnaround, Russia ’s interior ministry dropped drug -dealing charges against a prominent investigative reporter Kolokoltsev said he would ask the Russian president to dismiss two senior police officials and suspend the officers who detained the journalist Thursday.

In a surprising turnaround, Russia's interior ministry dropped drug-dealing charges against a prominent investigative reporter Tuesday and promised to go after police officers who allegedly tried to frame him.

Drug charges dropped in alleged setup of Russian journalist© The Associated Press In this photo taken on Saturday, June 8, 2019, Ivan Golunov, a prominent Russian investigative reporter, who worked for the independent website Meduza, leaves the cage in a court room in Moscow, Russia. Golunov left the courtroom after the ruling to place him under house arrest until Aug. 7. In the court hearing, he denied being involved with drugs and said he would be willing to help investigators. (Evgeny Feldman/meduza.io via AP) Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev stunned the nation when he announced that all charges against Ivan Golunov were dropped after police found "no proof of his part in a crime." Golunov was arrested Thursday.

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Ivan Golunov, a Russian investigative journalist , has been charged with dealing illegal drugs , an accusation that his supporters say is based on a set - up . His lawyer said the journalist alleged that police harassed him while he was in custody. There are reports that he suffered a concussion.

Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov walks free from a Moscow police station after drug charges against him are dropped . His lawyers alleged drugs had been planted on him to justify his arrest. Moscow police admitted photographs published on its website that they said showed drug

Kolokoltsev said he would ask the Russian president to dismiss two senior police officials and suspend the officers who detained the journalist Thursday. Among those who are likely to be dismissed is the anti-drugs chief of the Moscow police.

"I believe that the rights of any citizen, whatever his professional affiliation, ought to be protected," the minister said.

Golunov, who works for the independent website Meduza, had been facing drug-related charges that could have put him in prison for up to 20 years.

Prominent journalists and politicians welcomed the decision to abandon the case.

Mikhail Fedotov, a presidential adviser and chairman of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, hailed the announcement as a "victory of common sense."

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In a surprising turnaround, Russia 's police chief on Tuesday dropped all charges against a prominent investigative reporter whose detention sparked public outrage and promised to go after the police officers who tried to frame the journalist as a drug -dealer.Interior

Russian journalist #IvanGolunov walks out of police office after charges were dropped The police officers suspected of framing the journalist have been suspended pending an internal investigation Golunov was detained on Thursday, with police officers claiming they found drugs in his possession

He urged the police to investigate those responsible for what looked like an attempt to discredit Golunov by setting him up to look like a professional drug dealer.

"We are convinced that this story should not stop here because those who are guilty of making mockery of the law ought to face justice," Fedotov said in a statement.

Drug charges dropped in alleged setup of Russian journalist© The Associated Press In this photo, Russia's three major newspapers use the same headline that reads: "I'm/we are Ivan Golunov", which is the name of a prominent Russian investigative reporter, who worked for the independent website Meduza, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 10, 2019. In a show of rare solidarity, Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK, among the most respected daily newspapers in the country, published a joint editorial under the headline "I am/We are Ivan Golunov," calling for a transparent probe into the case of the prominent investigative journalist. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) Golunov was stopped by police on a Moscow street and taken into custody. His defense team alleges he was beaten and denied a lawyer for more than 12 hours.

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Russian Journalist Released After Police Drop Charges . Kolokoltsev said that the decision to drop the charges was based on results of forensics tests and "due to the fact that the alleged crime "The decision to drop the charges of 'illegal production or sale of drugs ' against investigative journalist

Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev stunned the nation when he announced that drug dealing charges against Ivan Golunov have been dropped Kolokoltsev also said that he will now ask the Russian president to dismiss two senior police officials and suspend the officers who detained the journalist .

On Saturday, he was released from jail and put under house arrest following a public outpouring of support, including from high-profile journalists for state-owned media.

Drug charges dropped in alleged setup of Russian journalist
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Many have questioned the alleged evidence in the case.

Police on Friday released several photos, reportedly from the journalist's home, of what appeared to be a drugs lab. They later retracted the statement, saying that the pictures were taken elsewhere. In a separate statement later, the police said they found cocaine at his place.

The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament was the first top official on Tuesday to raise concerns about the case.

Valentina Matviyenko, who is Russia's third most senior official after the president and prime minister, said the law enforcement agencies' "mistakes and violations ... have given rise to distrust in the investigation."

"People are either being unprofessional, or sloppy, or preparing a setup," she said in comments carried by Russian news agencies. "I don't know right now what to call it."

Some expressed hope the case would push Russian authorities to confront abuse of power by police.

"I think this will lead to a major reshuffle in law enforcement in relation to those who plotted this setup," Pavel Gusev, chairman of the Moscow chapter of the Russian Union of Journalists, told the Interfax news agency.

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