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Russian Prosecutors: Chechen Ordered Klebnikov's Murder

16 June 2005 -- Russian prosecutors say they have determined that a Chechen separatist leader ordered the murder of the editor of the Russian-language edition of U.S. business magazine "Forbes."

A spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's Office said Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev ordered the killing of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov in July last year.

Prosecutors say a total of four people are suspected of involvement in the murder; two are still at large, while two others are in police custody.

Klebnikov, an American of Russian descent, was gunned down last July outside the magazine's Moscow offices.

Nukhaev was the subject of a book by Klebnikov, "Conversations with a Barbarian", which cast him and other Chechen separatists in a sharply negative light.

Klebnikov was also known for his investigations into controversial privatisations in Russia in the 1990s. He was also reportedly working on a new book about how senior officials allegedly stole federal funds earmarked for the reconstruction of Chechnya.