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13 Sep, 2007 15:45

Journalist charged with blackmailing Minister

A journalist from Moscow-based newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” is being investigated for allegedly trying to blackmail a high-ranking government official. He is charged with extorting money in exchange for not publishing allegedly compromising

The paper claims Agriculture Minister Aleksey Gordeev was the victim, although the names of both parties have been withheld. The journalist was reportedly caught red-handed while receiving $US 30,000.

Newspaper bosses at the Nezavisimaya say the case does not make sense.

“This story seems strange to me. As we know he is accused of blackmailing Agriculture Minister Aleksey Gordeev. But the journalist has nothing to do with agriculture in our newspaper,” Konstantin Remchukov, Editor-in-Chief of the “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” newspaper said.