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[Published: Tuesday June 11 2019]

Russia drops charges against reporter Golunov

MOSCOW 11 Jun (ANA) - Russia has dropped all charges against an investigative reporter accused of drug dealing, after a massive public outcry over the case.
In a rare public show of support, Russian newspapers rallied around freelancer Ivan Golunov.
Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev admitted on Tuesday that Mr Golunov's guilt had "not been proven".
An internal inquiry was under way and the two arresting officers had been suspended, Mr Kolokoltsev said.
The decision came after "forensic, biological, fingerprinting and genetic tests," the interior minister added.
"He will be released from house arrest today, the charges have been dropped," he said.
Mr Kolokoltsev said he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to dismiss two high-ranking officials over the case: the head of the Interior Affairs Directorate of Moscow's Western Administrative District, Gen Puchkov, and the head of the Drugs Control Directorate, General Devyatkin. 
A file on the case had been sent to criminal investigators, Mr Kolokoltsev said. It would be up to them "check the legality of actions by officers directly involved in the detention of this citizen", he added.
Mr Golunov, 36, is a freelance journalist who had been working for the Latvia-based news website Meduza, among others.
His reporting included coverage of the loan shark business, the earnings of the family of Moscow's deputy mayor, the unusually high cost of public works in the Russian capital, and the alleged censorship of journalists.
He was on his way to meet another journalist in Moscow last week when he was stopped and searched by police officers.(ANA)
FA/ANA/11 June 2019------

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