New York, June 15, 2005—An arbitration court in the central Russian city of Smolensk convicted independent journalist Nikolai Goshko on charges of criminal defamation and sentenced him to five years in a prison colony for defaming three Smolensk officials in a July 2000 broadcast on the independent station, Radio Vesna.
July 27, 2000
His Excellency Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation
VIA FAX: 011-7-095-206-5173/206-6277
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply saddened by yesterday's killing of Sergey Novikov, owner of the independent radio station Vesna in the city of Smolensk.
Novikov, 36, was shot and killed in the stairwell of his apartment building at around 9 p.m. on July 26. The killer, who remains at large, shot him four times and then escaped through a back door.