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  Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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The Moscow City Court opened jury hearings into the murder of Forbes Russia Editor Paul Klebnikov Tuesday
Three ethnic Chechens are standing trial for the murder of the investigative journalist, who was gunned down in Moscow in July 2004, but today's court session will focus on the public prosecutor, who is expected to set out his case and propose the order of examining the evidence. Moscow City Court press secretary Anna Usacheva said the defense would also outline its case, and the defendants would be asked to enter a plea. In fact, it is not clear how long it will take to read out the 600-page indictment, even though the judge has the right to summarize it. Larisa Maslennikova, the Klebnikov family's lawyer, said before the closed-door hearings that the process could take up to a day or perhaps even longer. Maslennikova continued that her clients had hoped the Russian court would be unbiased and just. "A great deal will depend on how the evidence is presented," she said. The lawyer also said that the prosecution was expected to call about 150 witnesses, whereas the defense said it would call 10. Klebnikov gained his reputation for investigating murky post-Soviet business dealings and corruption. Prosecutors claim Chechens Kazbek Dukuzov, Musa Vakhayev and Fail Sadretdinov killed him on the orders of Chechen businessman Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, who wanted revenge for a critical book, Conversations with a Barbarian, which featured him as the central figure.
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