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Kazakhstan: Police Believe Robbery Behind Slaying Of U.S. Journalist

Almaty, 10 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Investigators believe the murder of the U.S. director of a journalism training program was not politically motivated, our correspondent in Almaty reports.

The chief of the Almaty city branch of the Kazakh state Investigation Committee, Colonel Kozy-Korpesh Karibozov, tells RFE/RL the killing probably was done during the course of a robbery.

No arrests have been made.

Chris Gehring, 28, was found in his apartment yesterday with his throat slit. The body was discovered by colleagues who became concerned when he did not show up for work.

Karibozov says that Gehring's personal computer is missing. He says the victim's VCR, stereo and TV set were packed up and taken to the entrance of the apartment building -- and left there.

Gehring was the director of Internews Network in Central Asia, a non-profit organization providing training programs for journalists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent panel, said it was greatly saddened by the killing.