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Russia drops drug charges against journalist after outcry over arrest

ANI  |  Europe 

on Tuesday dropped drug charges against Ivan Golunov, whose arrest sparked off protests across the country.

Golunov, who is a for the independent news website Meduza, was released from house arrest after the said that the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

A joyous and relieved Golunov said that he would continue doing his investigative journalism.

"According to the results of biological, forensic and fingerprint examinations and DNA testing, a decision was made to terminate the criminal prosecution of citizen due to the lack of evidence of his participation in the crime," Russia's of Internal Affairs was quoted by as saying.

The Russian said those police officers who arrested Golunov last week were suspended and he would request the removal of two top interior ministry officials -- at the western district of Russia, Andrei Puchkov, and of the Directorate for drug control at the Ministry of Internal Affairs,

Reacting to his release, said, "The best day. In tears. Happiness."

The Russian scribe is well known for reports on official corruption.

On June 6, Golunov was detained at his residence in downtown Police had said the scribe was carrying various packages containing four grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug.

Three packages, a parcel containing a powdery substance and scales were also found in his house, police had said.

A criminal case was lodged against the 36-year-old and the news of his arrest has sparked protests in with demonstrators terming it as "trumped-up drugs charge."

In a statement, said that they were "glad that authorities have heard the society."

"This is the result of an unprecedented international campaign of journalistic and civic solidarity. Together we did an incredible thing: We stopped the prosecution of an innocent man," journalists said in the statement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 12 2019. 05:26 IST