The chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee, the main federal investigating authority in Russia, has denied claims that he threatened an independent journalist with death.
In a statement on June 14, Aleksandr Bastrykin said the allegation from the Moscow-based "Novaya gazeta" newspaper was "an intricate mix of facts and obvious lies."
"Novaya gazeta" chief editor Dmitry Muratov said on June 13 that Bastrykin had delivered a death threat to the paper's deputy editor, Sergei Sokolov, last week when Sokolov was forcibly taken into a forested area in Moscow.
Muratov said Sokolov has fled Russia in the wake of the incident, fearful for his life.
According to Muratov, Bastrykin was angered by a "Novaya gazeta" article accusing him of failing to punish the perpetrators of a 2010 mass killing by a gang in southern Russia.
Based on reporting by "Izvestia" and ITAR-TASS