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Kazakhstan: Three Arrested In Killing Of U.S. Journalist

Prague, 15 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Authorities in Kazakhstan tell RFE/RL that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder last week of the American director of a journalism training program. The body of the American was discovered in his apartment. His throat had been slit.

Kazakh reports say among the suspects is a known drug addict, who, authorities say, admitted stealing the keys to the American's apartment and giving them to the other suspects. A computer believed stolen from the victim's apartment was reported found in the basement of an apartment where one of the suspects lives.

The American was the director of a program run by a non-profit, California-based group. The program provides training for journalists and managers of independent media in Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics. The program received some funding from the U.S. government, but authorities have said they suspect no political motive.

Associated Press news agency reports that about 1,000 Americans live in Almaty, and that many receive relatively high salaries, which makes them targets for crime.