Ivan Golunov
© REUTERS / Tatyana Makeyeva
Ivan Golunov at a court hearing.
There are questions that need to be answered in the controversial case of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, a Kremlin spokesman said. This includes an explanation of whether there were any violations by the police, he added.

Golunov was detained last week by police in Moscow and accused of being a drug dealer. He says officers planted drugs in his backpack and home to fabricate evidence, and that it was likely retaliation for his latest investigation into corruption among high-ranking police officials.

The Kremlin is closely monitoring the issue, which triggered public outrage in Russia, but does not consider it appropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said.

"Our position is that there are a number of questions that need to be clarified."

Given that the case "is high-profile, we will certainly be closely watching all the details."

On top of that, Peskov added that Golunov's allegations of police misconduct are "reason for the Prosecutor General's office and services within the Interior Ministry, which are tasked with investigating violations, to pay careful attention" to the case.

Supporters of the journalist in the Russian media community point out several inconsistencies, including the release of pictures supposedly from Galunov's apartment. Police later admitted that only one photo was in fact taken there; the rest, it emerged, were taken during a raid on a real drug lab.

Three leading Russian newspapers on Monday published a joint statement on their front pages, demanding a transparent investigation into the police unit which handled the case.

Meanwhile, Deputy Communications Minister Aleksey Volin said the Russian journalistic community deserves a lot of credit for the way it rallied behind the accused colleague.

"Russian journalists showed a high level of solidarity and mutual support. Such things have a positive effect on the Russian image [in other nations]," he said.

A court on Saturday denied police request to keep Golunov in pre-trial custody and instead ordered a house arrest for two months.