Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Don't Shoot Journalists!



I'M wondering what has happened to the investigation being done by the US-Russian reporting team on the death of Paul Klebnikov, an American journalist working in Moscow who was gunned down while walking home from his offices in northeastern part of the Russian capital on the evening of July 9.

Klebnikov, 41, was the editor of Forbes Russia who had acquired many friends as well as enemies—from Chechen rebels to billionaire bandits—while at the peak of his career.

Calling its unusual initiative "Project Klebnikov," the team is composed of at least 20 journalists and involves the journalism department of New York University, the Economist, Bloomberg News, Vanity Fair, and Forbes.

Klebnikov’s case is one of the 12 contract-style murders of journalists in Russia since President Vladimir Putin became president in 2000. None has been solved.

Klebnikov’s brother, Michael, 50, had said he was skeptical of the results of Russia’s investigation, which has blamed the murder on Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, a Chechen mafia leader, whom the journalist had critically profiled in his 2003 book “Conversations with a Barbarian.”

Michael had hinted that his brother’s murder might have something to do with a number of documents, one of which was related to Moscow real estate, in his possession.

Well, I wish that some of our local journalists here in the Philippines would take an interest to doing what Klebnikov’s friends and colleagues have done for him.


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