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Politkovskaya Sleuths Take Up Kashin Case

People rallying on Pushkin Square late Thursday to demand a full investigation into reporter Oleg Kashin’s beating. Pavel Golovkin

A new team of investigators — the third in four days — has been assigned to the case of Kommersant reporter Oleg Kashin, who is slowly recovering from a severe weekend beating near his home in downtown Moscow.

The case has been passed to the Investigative Committee's main investigative department headed by Pavel Barkovsky, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Barkovsky's department worked on the 2004 murder of Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov and the 2006 killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. It reported solving both cases, but courts cleared the suspects.

Investigators have named no suspects in the Saturday beating of Kashin, but more than 40 people have been questioned and various forensic checks are ongoing, with more than 100 policemen working on the case, Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing an unidentified police official.

Kashin, who sustained a head trauma and multiple broken bones, spent days in a drug-induced coma but was able to answer several “yes" and "no” questions to doctors, confirming that he remembers his name and the attack, reported Thursday.

His colleague Ilya Azar told that Kashin is spending most of the time sleeping under sedation and is being kept on artificial ventilation.

About 400 people — twice the number authorized by City Hall — gathered on the downtown Pushkin Square in a rally to support Kashin late Thursday, said. The event, which was attended by prominent activists Lev Ponomaryov and Yevgenia Chirikova, ended peacefully.

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