Trial of alleged killers of U.S. journalist to open in Moscow

The alleged killers of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov were to go on trial behind closed doors in the Moscow City Court on Tuesday. Klebnikov, the editor of Forbes magazine's Russian edition, was gunned down outside the magazine's Moscow offices in July 2004 in one of the highest-profile slayings in Russia in recent years.

Three ethnic Chechens are standing trial in connection with the killing, and three others are wanted. Prosecutors say that Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev killed Klebnikov on orders from another Chechen, Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, who was the subject of a critical book by Klebnikov titled "Conversations with a Barbarian." Nukhayev remains at large.

The alleged role of the third defendant, Fail Sadretdinov, is unclear. Sadretdinov, a notary, has been charged with attempted murder and organizing the criminal group alleged to have killed Klebnikov but prosecutors have drawn no direct connection between him and with the American's murder, according to Russian media reports. The defendants are to be tried by jury but the public was to have no access because, according to the court, some of the trial materials are secret, reports Interfax. I.L.

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