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MOSCOW – The Latest on a Russian journalist arrested on drug charges (all times local):
Russia's interior minister says all charges against an investigative journalist arrested on suspicion of drug dealing have been dropped.
Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said in a statement on Tuesday that the accusations against Ivan Golunov "have not been proven."
Kolokoltsev said Golunov has been released from house arrest and he intends to seek the dismissal of three senior police officials and to investigate others.
Golunov was jailed on Thursday and put under house arrest on Saturday. He denied possessing drugs and the circumstances of his case aroused suspicion among rights activists the journalist had been framed.
The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament has raised concerns about a drug dealing case against a prominent investigative journalist.
Valentina Matviyenko, who is Russia's third most senior official after the president and prime minister, on Tuesday described the criminal inquiry into Ivan Golunov as "a really bad story." She said that she spoke to the prosecutor general who promised to take the case under his personal control.
Golunov, who works for the independent website Meduza, was beaten and kept in custody for 12 hours without a lawyer after he was stopped by police in Moscow on Thursday, according to his lawyer. He was transferred to house arrest following a public outpouring of support, but he still faces drug dealing charges.