RealNews

Verdict near on sleuth who talked too much

As a former intelligence agent, lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin knew the value of discretion. But as he poked around for a connection between the Russian government and a series of apartment bombings in 1999 blamed on Chechen separatists, Trepashkin did anything but tread lightly. An attorney for a bombing victim’s family, Trepashkin discussed his legwork over the phone, though he knew the lines likely were tapped. He eagerly trumpeted his findings to the news media and vowed to present them in court during the accused bombers’ trial. “He either got tired of being afraid, or he wanted to challenge the authorities,” said Igor Korolkov, a Moscow journalist who interviewed Trepashkin last fall. Trepashkin never got his chance. In October, a week before the trial began, Russian police and plainclothes officers pulled over the lawyer’s Zhiguli hatchback just outside Moscow. Full Story

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