Incidents » Crimes

Chief Editor of Russian Forbes assassinated

Chief Editor of Russian edition of the Forbes magazine Paul Khlebnikov was wounded to death with shot at his head outside his office in Moscow at night of July 9.
He died in the ambulance car.

The police believe that the murder of Paul Khlebnikov resulted from his work in the magazine, Echo of Moscow reported.

According to the investigation, the two killers started firing at the journalist when he was going out of his office. They made 10 shots, 4 bullets hit the journalist. The criminals escaped in VAZ-2115 vehicle of dark color. The police conducted operation to capture the criminals, but it produced no results.

Police have found the VAZ car in which those who killed Pavel Khlebnikov escaped, the press secretary of the Moscow prosecutor's office, Svetlana Petrenko, told Itar-Tass.

The car is being examined now, she said.

American journalist of Russian origin Paul (Pavel) Khlebnikov was known as the author of the scandalous book “Kremlin’s Godfather Boris or the story of looting Russia”. Before publishing the book, Mr. Khlebnikov published in Forbes the article saying that then-Secretary of Security Council Boris Berezovsky was involved in criminal business. Mr. Berezovsky sued the magazine for the article, the legal hearing lasted for several years and finally Berezovsky won. In 2003 Mr. Khlebnikov published one more scandalous book - "Conversation with Barbarian” on his communication with Chechen rebel commander Khozh-Akhmed Nukhaev. Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky said to reporters on the phone after Khlebnikov's murder that he was careless in handling with facts.

It is worth saying that in May 2004 the Forbes published the list of the richest people in Russia. The magazine wrote that only Moscow alone accommodates 39 billionaires – more than in any city of the world. After publishing the list Khlebnikov told that the most of the people mentioned by the Forbes as billionaires, were indignant, they said the information about their wealth had been exaggerated and even threatened. However, Khlebnikov considered this as just emotional reaction and said that the threats were about suing the magazine.

Paul Khlebnikov was the son of Russian emigrants. His parents left for the USA during the Russian Civil War in 1918. He was born in 1963 in New York. He graduated from Californian University in Berkley and London School of Economics. In 1991 he was conferred on Doctor’s degree.  Paul Khlebnikov started working for the Forbes in 1989. He was promoted to the senior editor, was the specialist on the issues of Russian and East European politics and economics, in April 2004 he became the editor of the first Russian edition of the Forbes.

The executives of the US Forbes corporation have given no comments on the murder of their employee. In the office of the Forbes Senior Vice-President on public relations, reporters received the information that the emergency meeting of the Forbes executives was in progress. There is information that the Russian edition of the Forbes can be closed down.

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