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Russian Journalist Charged with Bid to Deal 'Large Amount' of Illegal Drugs, Says His Lawyer

Golunov, a reporter for Meduza Independent, was detained on Thursday for possession of five packages of mephedrone and cocaine.

AFP

Updated:June 8, 2019, 8:02 PM IST
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Russian Journalist Charged with Bid to Deal 'Large Amount' of Illegal Drugs, Says His Lawyer
Representative image (Reuters)

Moscow: Russian police have charged an investigative journalist with attempting to deal a "large amount" of illegal drugs, his lawyer said Saturday.

"Ivan Golunov has been charged as a defendant — attempted dealing," his lawyer Pavel Chikov wrote on Telegram messenger service.

Golunov, a reporter for Meduza Independent news website, was detained on Thursday for possession of five packages of mephedrone, a designer drug, Moscow police said, later adding they found cocaine at his flat.

Supporters say the charge is a trumped-up punishment for his reporting on high-level corruption.

Chikov, a top rights lawyer, posted a police document showing the charge against the journalist involves a "large amount" of cocaine and mephedrone, which means he could face a lengthy jail sentence if found guilty.

Golunov was set to face a court hearing later on Saturday where a judge would rule whether to hold him in a pre-trial detention, place him under house arrest or set him free.

Journalists were waiting to enter the court building on Saturday afternoon.

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