June 11, 2019 / 8:29 AM / 4 months ago

Putin ally calls drugs case against Russian journalist 'very bad story': Ifax

Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who was detained by police and accused of drug offences, reacts inside a defendants' cage as he attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia June 8, 2019. The writing on the T-shirt reads "Editorial desk demands blood". REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, on Tuesday called the case against Ivan Golunov, an investigative journalist charged with drug offences, a “very bad story,” the Interfax news agency reported.

The comments, by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, are likely to encourage supporters of Golunov who believe he was framed and have organised protests demanding the charges against him be dropped.

Reporting by Maxim Rodionov and Andrew Osborn; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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