Beaten journalist acquitted of slander

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The Independent Online

A court has overturned a defamation conviction against a journalist who accused the mayor of his town of being involved in blowing up his car in 2008. Several months after the bombing, Mikhail Beketov, pictured, was beaten by two people in Khimki, a Moscow suburb.

The attack left him brain-damaged and unable to speak.

Mr Beketov's supporters say the attack was related to his investigation into plans to clear a forest for a road. Mr Beketov accused the Khimki mayor, Vladimir Strelchenko, of involvement. The mayor sued for slander. Khimki magistrates convicted Mr Beketov of defamation last month and fined him 5,000 roubles (£100), but he did not have to pay because of a technicality.