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Chichvarkin Seeks Investigation Into Mother's Death

Yevgeny Chichvarkin

Former handset mogul Yevgeny Chichvarkin has appealed to the country's top investigator to open a murderl case into the death of his mother.

Chichvarkin's lawyer Vladimir Zherebyonkov said Monday that he had filed the request on his client's behalf with Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin. Chichvarkin lives in London and faces criminal charges at home in connection with his activities when he owned cell phone retailer Yevroset.

Chichvarkin's mother, Lyudmila Chichvarkina, 60, was found dead in her Moscow apartment in April.

In June, the Investigative Committee ruled out murder and said the death was caused by heart disease. But it also said Chichvarkina had been beaten shortly before her death. Police have refused to investigate the suspected assault.

"The reports about the death being caused by heart disease do not match the facts," Zherebyonkov said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio. "The doctors said she passed away hours after she had been beaten. I guess she died because of blood loss."

Zherebyonkov said the apartment contained ample evidence that the woman had been attacked.

"The entire apartment was covered in blood. A trail of blood led to the kitchen," Zherebyonkov said in a separate interview with Interfax.

He said the fingerprints and DNA samples of an unknown man had been found at the scene and had been ignored by the police.

He speculated that the attacker might be a man named Alexei who witnesses had seen visit Chichvarkina's apartment.

The Investigative Committee had no immediate comment about Chichvarkin's appeal.

In May, Chichvarkin recorded a video appeal to President Dmitry Medvedev in which he accused 11 senior Interior Ministry officials of harassing Yevroset and intimidating his business associates.

Russian prosecutors are seeking Chichvarkin's extradition from Britain to face charges of extortion and kidnapping, which Chichvarkin denies. The next hearing in the case in a London court is scheduled for next Monday.

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