Chechens acquitted in Moscow murder of US journalist

[JURIST] A Russian jury on Friday acquitted two Chechens in the murder of American journalist Paul Klebnikov [Wikipedia profile; Economist obituary], who was the editor of Forbes magazine's Russian edition when he was shot and killed in 2004. Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev, charged with shooting Klebnikov, were acquitted after eight jurors voted in favor of the verdict. Four jurors would have convicted them. A third defendant, Fail Sadretdinov, was also tried [BBC report] on charges of attempted murder; there is no word yet on the jury's verdict as to Sadretdinov. All three pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges when the trial began in January.

Klebnikov was shot in 2004 outside the Moscow office of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, where he served as the magazine's editor. Russian authorities believe that Chechen rebel leader Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev [AFP profile] allegedly ordered the killings [JURIST report] in retaliation for a book Klebnikov wrote about Nukhayev titled Conversations with a Barbarian. AP has more. MosNews has local coverage.

 

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