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Business daily accuses five bankers of being behind its vice-president's murder

(RSF/IFEX) - The management of the "Reporte de la Economía" daily has accused a network of five bankers of being behind the murder of its vice-president, Pierre Fould Gerges, who was gunned down in Caracas on 2 June 2008.

The newspaper's lawyer, Giselle Suárez, said at a news conference on 9 June that the investigation was focussing on a financial group that "constitutes an appendage of the state, which has created a state within the state." She added: "The government has nothing to do with this case. It is not a political crime, but a crime against free expression."

While not confirming this theory, interior minister Ramón Rodríguez Chacín meanwhile said the investigation was advancing "very rapidly."

Reporters Without Borders commented: "The utmost care is required with this case. One of the hypotheses is that the victim was murdered by mistake, that the killers mistook him for his brother, Tanous Gerges, president of 'Reporte de la Economía', who was targeted for reasons that remain to be established."

Updates the Gerges case:

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