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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Photo Error Mars Listyev Killer Hunt

Identikit photographs of the suspected killers of television journalist Vladislav Listyev, issued by police and shown on television and in national newspapers, in fact depicted two innocent workmen who were decorating Listyev's apartment, a senior prosecutor said Monday.

Boris Uvarov, head of the team investigating the murder, said in an interview that the prosecutor's office had identified the two men whose Identikit photographs were shown on Russian television from March 2.

"They turned out to be two workers from a private decoration company who had nothing to do with the murder," Uvarov said.

Listyev, 38, was shot by two assailants in the stairway of his apartment block, when he returned home from work on the evening of March 1.

Uvarov said the workmen had arrived at the building some 40 minutes before the murder occurred.

Their chief had gone up to the apartment to discuss the work with Listyev's wife, while the two men waited downstairs.

"They were noticed by six witnesses who were residents of the block," Uvarov said.

He said that despite the error over the photographs, he was glad to eliminate one possible course of investigation.

"There are several investigation teams, each of which follows its own course and now we can concentrate on other things," Uvarov said. "Up to now there is no one being held on direct suspicion of Listyev's murder."

But he confirmed a police report that three members of the Pushkinskaya organized-crime gang had been detained March 7 on suspicion of possible involvement in the murder. "We are checking this information and cannot say anything for certain."