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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutor: Media Raid Was Justified

Prosecutors investigating Media-MOST claimed Friday they had evidence that the group's security service had eavesdropped on senior government officials.

A raid last week by masked, gun-toting police on the company's offices prompted accusations that President Vladimir Putin was trying to suppress media freedoms.

Prosecutor Vladimir Danilov, who leads the probe, denied the raid was politically motivated.

Speaking at a news conference, Danilov said the raid had yielded evidence of telephone eavesdropping by MOST, but refused to give details. Without mentioning names, he said a "large number of senior government officials'' were among those whose privacy was violated. The group has denied bugging anyone.

In its weekly Itogi current affairs program Sunday, the media group's flagship NTV television cast doubt on the authenticity of transcripts touted by state-run ORT and RTR television as products of Media-MOST's eavesdropping.