MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Moscow police found and seized five grams of cocaine in the apartment of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov, who was detained in Moscow on Friday, a Moscow police spokesperson told TASS.
"While searching the detainee’s place of residence - a rented apartment on Veshnyakovskaya St. - police, in the presence of attesting witnesses, have discovered three bags and one package containing some powder-like substance, as well as an electronic weighing scale. Further investigation revealed that cocaine, weighting over five grams, was among the items seized," the source said.
According to the spokesman, Golunov was detained as a result of investigative procedures targeting a group of suspected drug dealers.
Besides, Moscow police rejected reports that the journalist was beaten during detention.
"Members of the Public Monitoring Commission, who were allowed to meet with him, attested that there were no signs of beating on the detainee’s body. When the detainee asked to inform his friends and relatives about the detention, an investigator made a phone call to the number that the man provided. Also, a lawyer had joined the criminal proceedings," the spokesperson said.
The source also denied reports that police officers deliberately prevented the suspect from submitting hand swabs and nail clips for a forensic test to detect signs of drugs.
"In fact, the detainee at first agreed to provide his biological fluids for testing, but, at the same time, refused in the presence of attesting witnesses to give his nail clips. Later, after public monitors arrived, he was once again told to provide hand swabs and nail clips, and he agreed," the official said.
Moscow police also refuted media reports of alleged falsifications in Golunov’s case.
"We express our disagreement with certain media’s claims of deliberate falsifications committed in the course of the pretrial investigation," the Moscow City Police said in a statement.
Golunov, 36, an investigative correspondent from the Riga-based Meduza online newspaper was detained in downtown Moscow on June 6. According to police, he was carrying several packages containing 4 grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug. Three packages, a parcel containing a powdery substance and scales were found in his house. A criminal case was opened against Golunov.
The pretrial investigation into the journalist’s case continues. Moscow police chief Oleg Baranov has assumed personal control over it.