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Journalist Anatoly Levin-Utkin killed

(GDF/IFEX) - According to GDF, on 20 August 1998, at about 8:00 p.m. (local
time), Anatoly Levin-Utkin, deputy editor-in-chief of "Yuridichesky
Peterburg Segodnya", was reportedly assaulted by two unknown assailants on
the porch of his house in St. Petersburg. He was found unconscious,
suffering from serious head trauma. The journalist's briefcase, containing
material for the next paper's issue, as well as photo equipment and exposed
film, were missing.

On 24 August 1998, following neurosurgery, Levin-Utkin died from his
injuries without having regained consciousness. According to neurosurgeon
Sergei Yevdokimov, the nature of the journalist's injuries give reason to
assert that he was murdered.

"Yuridichesky Peterburg Segodnya" had previously published a series of
articles on corruption in St. Petersburg's banking circles. According to
GDF, the banking leadership, the topic of articles to have been published in
the next issue, demanded that the newspaper name its sources for the
articles. Previously, the vehicle carrying the previous issue of the
newspaper had been detained by militia, allegedly under false pretext.
According to Alexei Domnin, the newspaper's editor-in-chief, the above-noted
facts all point to pressure being exerted on "Yuridichesky Peterburg

GDF states that, as is the usual practice, militia agencies have immediately
rejected the possibility that Levin-Utkin's murder was connected to his
journalistic activities.

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Send appeals to authorities:
  • requesting that the investigation into Levin-Utkin's murder be put under
    the control of the Prosecutor General's office and of the President's
    representative in St. Petersburg

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Boris Yeltsin
    Moscow, Russia
    Fax: +70 95 206 5173/206 6277
    or e-mail c/o Marat Guriev, Administration of President Yeltsin:
    [email protected]

    His Excellency Yuri Skuratov
    Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
    Moscow, Russia
    Fax: +70 95 292 88 48/925 18 79

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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