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Slain Russia Reporter Trial Opens

July 1, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) _ The trial of three suspects in the murder of a journalist in southern Russia opened Thursday but adjourned quickly after the defense accused the prosecutor of impropriety, Russian television stations reported.

Larisa Yudina, the editor of the Soviet Kalmykia Today newspaper, was found dead June 8, 1998, in the Kalmyk regional capital of Elista with multiple knife wounds and a fractured skull.

Members of the liberal Yabloko party, to which Yudina belonged, and other opposition members believe the killing was politically motivated. Yudina had often criticized Kalmyk President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Shortly after the court session began, the defense called for the prosecutor to be replaced since he had taken part in the murder investigation, including interrogations.

The judges accepted the motion, and announced a weeklong recess.

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