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Murdered Forbes editor's family backs acquittal ruling appeal

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MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) - The family of Paul Klebnikov, the murdered former editor of Forbes Russia magazine, Tuesday backed an appeal by prosecutors against the acquittal of three defendants in the case.

The Prosecutor General's Office has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev, who are charged with the murder of U.S. citizen Klebnikov on July 9, 2004, allegedly on the orders of Chechen businessman Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev.

The Klebnikov family welcomes case prosecutor Dmitry Shokhin's decision to appeal over procedural violations the acquittal verdict for the people charged with murdering Paul Klebnikov, the family said.

Prosecutors in the case, who claim that Nukhayev wanted revenge after Klebnikov wrote a critical book, "Conversations with a Barbarian," that featured him as the central figure, say the verdict was unlawful and unsubstantiated.

Dukuzov and Vakhayev were acquitted by a majority jury verdict at the Moscow City Court May 5, along with Moscow notary Fail Sadretdinov, who has since been rearrested on suspicion of fraud. Sadretdinov's lawyers have appealed the arrest.

Klebnikov's family said they supported the introduction of jury trials in Russia, although it would take time to develop into an effective democratic tool.

They said prosecutors had filed the appeal with the Supreme Court in a move coordinated with the family, and that the appeal focused on major trial violations.

The Klebnikov family intends to follow the case until those who perpetrated and masterminded the crime are arrested and convicted.

Klebnikov had worked for Forbes since 1989, and gained a reputation for investigating murky post-Soviet business dealings and corruption.

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