Official suspected in attack on Russian activist: report

28th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A local government official has been arrested on suspicion of organizing an assault on an environmental activist opposed to the construction of a controversial road in the Moscow region, police sources said Tuesday.

Police arrested three suspected attackers and a local official in Khimki suspected of organizing the assault on activist Konstantin Fetisov in early November, leaving him in a coma, police sources told RIA Novosti news agency.

Fetisov is one of several journalists and activists who have been attacked after opposing plans to build a highway through a forest in Khimki, a suburb to the northwest of the capital.

Investigators are now searching the Khimki administration as part of the probe into the beating, state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported Tuesday citing investigative committee spokesman.

Another victim of a beating in Khimki, local newspaper editor Mikhail Beketov, was left with brain damage after a brutal assault two years ago.

Beketov was convicted by a Russian court of slandering Khimki's mayor Vladimir Strelchenko by alleging he was behind the assault.

Earlier in December the Russian government approved the plan to build the road through the Khimki forest in defiance of large-scale protests in Moscow over recent months.

© 2010 AFP

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