MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. The violations and mistakes committed during the detention of Ivan Golunov, a journalist of the Meduza media outlet, arouse mistrust in the investigative bodies, Russian Federation Council (upper house) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told reporters on Tuesday.
"The situation around journalist Ivan Golunov’s detention has caused a public outcry and a sharp reaction of his fellow reporters, and there have been grounds for that. The facts of the committed mistakes have been announced. They certainly arouse mistrust of investigative bodies, and in my opinion, this is the worst thing about this story," Matviyenko said.
According to Matviyenko, there are many questions about the case, and the society wants to get clear answers to them. "Why was journalist Ivan Golunov detained for more than 48 hours without the court’s decision? Why did they publish photos from another place and not from his apartment where the search was conducted? Why was not he present during the search? This is either the lack of professionalism, carelessness or provocation. I don’t even know how to call this," she said.
The upper house speaker has demanded a thorough investigation, stressing that the society should receive answers to these or other issues.
On June 6, Ivan Golunov, who works for the Meduza news website, 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 four grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug, while five grams of cocaine were found during a search of his rented apartment.
Moscow’s Nikulinsky District Court placed the journalist under house arrest.
Golunov’s lawyer Dmitry Dzhulai said earlier that drugs could have been planted on his client. Meduza Director General Galina Timchenko and Chief Editor Ivan Kolpakov said that Golunov’s journalistic activities might be the true reason behind drug charges. The journalist’s detention has sparked a public outcry and his colleagues have been holding pickets outside the Interior Ministry’s building in Moscow demanding his release.