News in Brief

Georgia Flights Resume



The first flight from Georgia to Russia since the countries broke off air links in October 2006 landed Tuesday evening at Domodedovo Airport.

The Airzena/Georgian Airways flight from Tbilisi International Airport arrived at around 8:10 p.m.. Aeroflot and S7 plan to resume flights on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Russia closed the border following the October 2006 arrest and subsequent expulsion of four Russian military officers, whom the Georgian government accused of spying. (MT)




Shchekochikhin Revisited



Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said Tuesday that his committee had reopened a probe into the unexplained death of investigative journalist and State Duma Deputy Yury Shchekochikhin in 2003.

Shchekochikhin, who investigated high-level corruption for Novaya Gazeta, died after a brief, mysterious ailment that caused him to lose his hair and suffer severe skin problems.

A forensic examination attributed the immediate cause of death to allergic reaction. His friends and associates have said they suspect he was poisoned, possibly by radiation. Bastrykin said Tuesday that he was not satisfied with an investigator's decision to shelve the case and had ordered a re-examination. (AP)




Litvinenko Inquest Sought



LONDON -- The widow of poisoned former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko wants an inquest into his death to be held before a jury and to examine the evidence gathered by British police, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Marina Litvinenko filed a formal request Friday to resume a London inquest that opened after her husband's death in November 2006 but adjourned while police conducted a murder investigation.

Given Russia's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, whom British prosecutors suspect of poisoning Litvinenko with radioactive polonium, Marina Litvinenko believes that there will be no trial and wants police to disclose for the first time the evidence uncovered in their investigations, said her lawyer, Louise Christian. (Reuters)




Suspect Held in Girl's Death



A suspect in the murder of a 5-year-old girl in Krasnoyarsk last year has been detained, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

The suspect, 36, has admitted to killing Polina Malkova, who disappeared from a courtyard next to her home on March 19, 2007, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Police found her body 10 days later in a deserted part of the west Siberian city. (MT)




Student Falls to Her Death



A female student of the Peoples' Friendship University fell to her death from an apartment window in southwestern Moscow, Interfax reported Tuesday.

The student, born in 1990, was found dead Monday night outside an apartment building on Ulitsa Kakhovka, near the Kakhovskaya metro station, a law enforcement source told Interfax. No other details were provided. (MT)