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Ukraine nabs Russian for murder of US journalist

November 18, 2017

A Russian man has been arrested in Ukraine for the murder 13 years ago of a US journalist working for Forbes magazine in Moscow. Three people charged with Klebnikov's murder in 2006 were acquitted.

Rusland Paul Klebnikov 2004
Image: picture alliance/AP Photo/M. Japaridze

Ukraine's intelligence agency has arrested a Russian man for the high-profile murder of an American journalist in 2004, it said on Saturday.

Paul Klebnikov, 41, was the US-born editor of Forbes magazine's Russian edition when he was gunned down outside his Moscow office 13 years ago.

The suspect, originally from Chechnya, was arrested in Kyiv.

Paul Klebnikov's brother, Peter, speaks to the Commitee to Protect Journalists shortly after his brother's murder.
Paul Klebnikov's brother, Peter, spoke to the Committee to Protect Journalists shortly after his brother's murderImage: picture alliance/AP Photo

"According to Interpol, the foreigner participated in a series of sponsored murders, in particular, that of Forbes' editor-in-chief, the US citizen Paul Klebnikov," as well as a Chechnyan government official, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement.

Probing Russian corruption

It is widely believed that Klebnikov's murder was connected to his investigative reporting on Russian corruption. He had worked for the magazine for 15 years.

The SBU didn't identify the suspect but announced that they had detained a man connected to several murders, including Klebnikov's.

Three people were charged with Klebnikov's murder in 2006 but all were acquitted. However, a higher court subsequently ordered a retrial for the main suspect. He fled, however, before the case could be heard.

The suspect belonged to a criminal group in Ukraine after fleeing Russia, according to the SBU. Officials said the group extorted funds from entrepreneurs.

bik/tj (AP, AFP)