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Russian investigative reporter in custody files appeal to fight house arrest

Earlier, Moscow’s Nikulinsky District Court ruled to put Ivan Golunov under house arrest until August 7

MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Lawyers for Ivan Golunov, an investigative correspondent from the Riga-based Meduza online newspaper, have appealed a court ruling that placed the journalist in question under house arrest on suspicion of drug dealing, attorney Sergey Badamshin told TASS.

"We have appealed the court’s ruling," he said.

On June 8, Moscow’s Nikulinsky District Court ruled to put the journalist under house arrest until August 7.

On June 6, the reporter, 36, was hauled off in downtown Moscow and taken to a local police station on charges of illegally producing, selling and transporting drugs. According to police, Golunov was carrying several packages containing 4 grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug. The police also said that they had also found 5 grams of cocaine in the apartment that the journalists had rented in Moscow.

Attorney Dmitry Dzhulai said that the police had planted the drugs on his client, explaining that this could have occurred when police officers confronted the journalist.

Meduza’s Director General Galina Timchenko and Chief Editor Ivan Kolpakov said they believe that Golunov could be prosecuted over his professional activity. Golunov’s colleagues held numerous pickets outside the Moscow office of the Russian Interior Ministry.