NEW YORK, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Russia to continue the investigation of the killing of Paul Klebnikov, a Moscow-based American journalist, on the 10th anniversary of his death.
“Paul’s senseless murder was a sickening punch in the gut,” Kerry said in a statement.
“Ten years later, we remain deeply troubled that the mystery of who ordered the murder is still unsolved. We continue to call on Russia, as we have over the last decade, to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice,” he said.
A US citizen of Russian descent, Klebnikov worked at Forbes Magazine for more than a decade before he was appointed the first editor of Forbes Russia, which launched in April 2004. He was known for his work in investigative journalism.
Klebnikov had put out only four issues of the magazine's Russian edition, until he was killed outside his office in central Moscow in July of the same year at the age of 41.
Two men from Chechnya charged with murder were acquitted and freed in 2006. The Supreme Court ordered their retrial but it was suspended after one of the defendants went missing.
In 2009, Russia re-opened the case, which remains under investigation.
Klebnikov's family issued a statement on the anniversary, asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to stand by his promise from 10 years ago to solve the case.
“We are bitterly disappointed and call on President Putin to order his government finally to bring Paul’s murderers to justice,” Musa Klebnikov, the journalist's widow was quoted as saying in a press release obtained by RIA Novosti.
"The Klebnikov family believes that resolution of the case would represent a step forward for journalists and all Russians, who would benefit from a justice system that upholds due process of the law," said in the statement.
The Paul Klebnikov Fund was established in 2004 and "has honored Paul’s love of Russia by supporting development of a civil society through an independent and professional media," Klebnikov's family said. The Fund provides training and fellowships to Russia’s best journalists through a partnership with Columbia University’s Harriman Institute.
The death of Klebnikov caused international outcry amid speculation that it could have been linked to his investigations into corruption in Russia.