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  Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Russian prosecutors have opened a criminal case into the mysterious death
Russian prosecutors have opened a criminal case into the mysterious death in July 2003 of a Russian investigative journalist and liberal lawmaker, an investigation committee spokesman said Friday.

Yury Shchekochikhin, who reported on high-profile corruption cases, died after a brief and puzzling illness almost five years ago, at the age of 53. A post mortem concluded that the cause of death was an allergic reaction. However, friends and associates suspect Shchekochikhin was poisoned.

Russian authorities reopened an investigation into his death on March 25 this year.

Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia's Investigative Committee, rejected a decision by Moscow district investigators to shelve the inquiry into the death.

Shchekochikhin, a former chairman of the State Duma committee on national security and a member of the anti-corruption commission, wrote for opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta along with Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in October 2006.

The violent death of Politkovskaya prompted world leaders and international human rights activists to call on the Russian authorities to ensure that this and other high-profile murders of journalists were solved.

Russia, which saw 88 reporters murdered over the past 10 years, is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. It is second only to Iraq, where 138 media personnel have been killed over the same period.


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