Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dead Russian reporter was investigating arms sales to Iran

Iran Press News

MOSCOW (AFP) - A Russian reporter who died after falling out of a window was investigating sales of weapons by Russia to Syria and Iran, his newspaper Kommersant said Tuesday.
Ivan Safronov had told his newspaper that he had "received information" about the sale of Sukhoi-34 fighter jets to Syria and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran via Belarus.

The business daily said the arms were being sold "via Belarus to avoid the west accusing Russia of arming rogue states". Safronov, a former colonel, specialised in writing about the army and space.

Russian prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation into the "incitement to suicide" of Safronov.

But his newspaper has dismissed claims that he committed suicide, while Russian journalists union the SJR said Tuesday it might conduct its own inquiry.

"From what we know already it is clear it was not suicide," the union's Secretary General Igor Yakovenko told Moscow Echo radio. More....

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