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Russian Prosecutors Reverse Decision On Rybkin

Moscow, 9 February 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's prosecutor general has cancelled a murder inquiry into the disappearance of presidential candidate Ivan Rybkin.

That announcement from a spokeswoman today came less than an hour after prosecutors announced the opening of a murder investigation. A deputy prosecutor in Moscow said the decision was annulled "due to insufficient evidence."

Rybkin, running as an independent, is one of seven candidates involved in the presidential election taking place on 14 March.

Rybkin went missing after he left his apartment in Moscow on Thursday evening. Moscow police launched a manhunt for the candidate yesterday after his family filed a missing-person report.

Rybkin is known as an outspoken critic of president Vladimir Putin. He is a former Duma speaker and was president Boris Yeltsin's national security council chief.