Gerasimenko had been investigating the corporate takeover of a local commercial enterprise, Saratovsky Rasklad Editor-in-Chief Vladimir Spiryagin told the United Volga news Web site. Spiryagin declined to identify the firm because he had not yet discussed details with police investigators, he told United Volga. Spiryagin said Gerasimenko was supposed to file a story on the corporate takeover on July 18 but missed the deadline—something the editor said was very unusual for Gerasimenko.
Colleagues told CPJ that Gerasimenko’s murder could be connected to his work. Saratovsky Rasklad often publishes business and political analyses and investigations. The Saratov prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal case but has not commented on possible motives, press reports said.
“Russia’s roster of deadly censorship continues to grow with no sign of relenting,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “In light of authorities’ record of impunity in journalist killings, CPJ calls on prosecutors to pursue every lead and conduct a detailed and transparent probe into the brutal murder of our colleague Yevgeny Gerasimenko. Considering his recent investigative work, the professional motive in his killing should be investigated thoroughly.”
At least 12 journalists have been murdered in contract-style slayings since 2000 in Russia. All of the cases remain unsolved. For more information: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2005/russia_murders/russia_murders.html