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The Moscow Times, July 12, 2004

Investigators Find Gunmen's Vehicle

By Carl Schreck

Investigators said they have recovered the car from which Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov was shot and killed Friday night, but there was no word that any suspects had been detained as of Sunday evening.

"Investigative activities are proceeding at full speed," Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for the City Prosecutor's Office, told Interfax on Saturday. "The car from which Klebnikov was shot has been found. The car is now being examined."

Petrenko did not say what the model of car was or where it was found, though Interfax reported that Klebnikov was shot from a dark-colored Lada.

No one answered the phone at the prosecutor's office on Sunday.

Klebnikov was shot shortly before 10 p.m. after walking out of his office at 16 Ulitsa Dokukina. Interfax, citing witnesses, said the assailants pulled up behind him on the side of the street closest to Prospekt Mira and, from a distance of 10 to 15 meters, rolled down the driver's side window and opened fire.

Klebnikov was shot four times. Gazeta.ru reported he was wounded in the chest, stomach and right leg.

"It was obvious that he was shot in the stomach. There was also some blood on his temple," said Alexander Gordeyev, the editor of the Russian edition of Newsweek, whose offices are in the same building.

Gordeyev said his office received a call from someone just minutes after the shooting, and he and a few others immediately ran out to help Klebnikov.

"I tried to speak English to him but he was answering in Russian," Gordeyev said. "I asked him whether he had any contacts or meetings recently that could have prompted this. He said there was nothing he could think of."

Klebnikov really wanted to get on the phone to his wife and two brothers, but could not recall the numbers immediately, Gordeyev said.

Gazeta.ru reported that police were notified of the shooting at 9:55 p.m. and that policemen arrived on the scene seven minutes later. Klebnikov died in City Hospital No. 20 at 10:10 p.m., Interfax reported.

There were conflicting reports as to how many assailants there were and what weapons may have been used.

According to a witness who asked to remain anonymous, three assailants opened fire with automatic weapons and fled the scene in a Lada, Gazeta.ru reported, citing city police sources.

Investigators from the City Prosecutor's Office found at the scene nine 9mm cartridges, one bullet of the same caliber and "other objects" possibly related to the murder, Interfax reported.

Ekho Moskvy reported that Klebnikov was likely shot by two assailants with Makarov pistols, which would conflict with the witness account of automatic gunfire. While a Makarov pistol fires 9mm bullets, it is not an automatic weapon. The Stechkin pistol, however, is automatic and fires 9mm bullets.

Although the City Prosecutor's Office is handling the investigation, Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov has taken the case under his personal control.

Interfax reported Saturday that U.S. officials were to join Russian investigators in searching Klebnikov's apartment for clues. A U.S. embassy spokesman confirmed Sunday that U.S. officials had been to the apartment but said he could not elaborate due to U.S. Privacy Act provisions.

Staff Writer Valeria Korchagina contributed to this report.


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Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

The Moscow Times, July 12, 2004

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