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Lawyer Says Klebnikov Trial Delayed

Paul Klebnikov (file photo) (epa) 18 January 2006 -- The trial of three ethnic Chechens accused of involvement in the killing of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov has been delayed.

Lawyer Ruslan Zakalyuzny said the trial was put off until an unspecified date because the presiding judge is ill. However, court spokeswoman Anna Usacheva said the trial was delayed because one of the defense lawyers was systematically violating court rules.

Klebnikov, the editor of "Forbes" magazine's Russian edition, was killed outside the magazine's Moscow offices in July 2004. The trial into his killing started on 10 January in Moscow. Hearings had been scheduled to resume today.

All three defendants pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Klebnikov, who had investigated murky post-Soviet business dealings, was killed on the orders of a fourth Chechen, allegedly in revenge for a critical book Klebnikov wrote.

That suspect, as well as two others, is still wanted.