Seven years ago, Paul Klebnikov, an American journalist of Russian heritage, was shot dead on a Moscow street at the age of 41. He had helped to set up the Russian edition of Forbes, and written books about oligarch Boris Berezovsky and about the Chechen war and mafia. There was never any doubt that his murder was linked to his work.
Seven years later, we still don’t know who ordered his murder. Today, we got a reminder of that.
One of the men who first went on trial in 2006 for Klebnikov’s murder was Fail Sadretdinov, a notary from Moscow. As the trial stopped and started, and stopped and started again (there were sick judges, suspects who disappeared, multiple jury selections), Sadretdinov was indicted on another, unrelated, charge of apartment fraud. Today his lawyer told RIA Novosti that two months ago he was released on parole, after having served half his sentence.
I’m not even sure what’s going on with the investigation right now. On June 30, 2009, it was frozen (just ahead of Obama’s visit to Moscow, when Klebnikov’s family asked him to raise the issue during his meetings with Russia’s leaders). Then on July 1 that year, it was reportedly resumed. No news since then.
President Medvedev has promised to improve investigations into cases just like this one. Good job.