The Moscow Prosecutor's Office believes there is a direct link between the murder of Paul Khlebnikov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russian edition of the Forbes magazine, and his investigative reporting, spokespeople for the Prosecutor told RIA Novosti Saturday. Khlebnikov was fatally wounded outside his office late July 9, and he died from the wounds in hospital.
Prosecutor Anatoly Zuyev has reportedly decided to hand the case over to the murder and banditry department of the Moscow Prosecutor's Office. Investigators of this department have vast experience in probing contact killings. Criminal proceedings in connection with Paul Khlebnikov's murder have been launched as pursuant to Article 105 of the Russian Penal Code.
Before being taken to hospital, the journalist told a by-stander that he had been shot at by a man he had seen before. Accounts by other eye-witnesses indicate that Paul Khlebnikov was followed by a dark-colored car. The driver stopped the car ten to fifteen meters away, opened the left-hand window and fired several shots at his victim.
Investigators who worked at the crime scene found nine 9-millimeter shells, one bullet of the same caliber, and other relevant objects, the Moscow Prosecutor's Office says in a press release.
Questioning of eye-witnesses is now underway; forensic, biological and ballistic examinations are forthcoming, the press release says.