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    Investigators to renew journalist attack case (Update 1)

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    Russian Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin ordered a new probe into a 2008 attack on a Russian journalist, Mikhail Beketov, a committee spokesman said on Thursday.

    Russian Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin ordered a new probe into a 2008 attack on a Russian journalist, Mikhail Beketov, a committee spokesman said on Thursday.

    In November 2008, Beketov, the editor-in-chief of the controversial Khimkinskaya Pravda newspaper, was severely beaten by unidentified attackers. He is now severely brain damaged and confined to a wheelchair.

    The case was frozen in mid-September because investigators were unable to identify and charge any suspects.

    The Committee also asked Russia's Prosecutor General's office to conduct a further probe into the attack of a Novaya Gazeta journalist, Igor Domnikov.

    Domnikov was attacked in 2000 in Moscow. Several months later he died in hospital. Investigators at that time identified the contractors and the executors of the crime.

    These measures were initiated in the wake of the recent attack on the journalist from the respected Kommersant daily, Oleg Kashin. He was severely beaten by unidentified assailants near his house in Moscow early on Saturday. He suffered severe head and leg injuries and is currently in an induced coma.

    In late September, Bastrykin ordered a review of all cases concerning attacks on journalists.

    Criminal cases launched before the Investigative Committee was established in Russia in September 2007, as well as those suspended or closed will also be reviewed.

    Bastrykin said that police had identified, but not yet detained, the suspected murderer of rights activist and journalist Natalya Estemirova, who was abducted in the Chechen capital Grozny and killed on July 15, 2009.

    Russia has one of the poorest journalist safety records in the world. With at least 35 journalists murdered between 2000 and 2009, the International Press Institute places Russia fifth in its ranking of countries most dangerous for journalists, after Iraq, the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico.

    MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) 

     

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