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Watchdog Condemns Halt Of Probe Into Belarusian Reporter's Murder

(RFE/RL) 31 December 2005 -- The international media monitoring group Reporters Without Borders has condemned the decision by prosecutors in Belarus to halt the investigation into the murder of an investigative journalist in Minsk.

Reporters Without Borders said the decision to suspend the probe into the October 2004 killing of Veronika Cherkasova means there is now little hope that those responsible for her death will ever be identified.

A statement from Reporters Without Borders said investigators, who had not found any clues to the identity of the murderer, had never explored the possibility that she was killed because of her work as a journalist at the independent trade union weekly Solidarnost.

Reporters Without Borders said Belarus is a country in which the murders of journalists are not investigated, citing the cases of Dmitri Zavadski, Mikhailo Kolomiets, and Vassili Grodnikov.

(Reporters Without Borders/AFP)