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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawyer Dies, Inteko Appeals to Putin

bestlawyers.ruDmitry Shteinberg
A lawyer for Inteko, a company controlled by Mayor Yury Luzhkov's wife, died Wednesday from injuries sustained in an attack two days earlier, and Inteko appealed to President Vladimir Putin for an immediate investigation into what it called a related farmland dispute.

The appeal, which was signed by Inteko president Yelena Baturina, also called for the dismissal of Belgorod Governor Yevgeny Savchenko. The appeal was addressed to Putin, Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov and the State Duma.

Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Savchenko, who is not related to the governor, headed to Belgorod on Wednesday to look into Inteko's allegations, Interfax reported.

Inteko lawyer Dmitry Shteinberg died in the hospital after being left unconscious in an attack in the hallway of his Moscow apartment building, Inteko and prosecutors said.

Shteinberg had been preparing a lawsuit against Belgorod regional officials and an appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office to investigate the farmland dispute, Baturina's brother Viktor Baturin, Inteko's first deputy president, said at a news conference, where he announced the appeal.

The dispute is over 100,000 hectares of farmland that Inteko bought in the region over the past two years. The regional administration and several local lawmakers have accused Inteko of illegally buying farmland. Inteko, in turn, has accused the governor of wrongly preventing it from taking full ownership of the land and has suggested that he might have been involved in the attack on Shteinberg and a second Inteko employee.

The second employee, Alexander Annenkov, was attacked Sunday by three assailants carrying an ax and baseball bats in the city of Belgorod. Annenkov, the executive director of Inteko-Agro, Inteko's farming subsidiary in Belgorod, and the publisher of a newspaper critical of the governor, remains hospitalized in Moscow with cuts and a head injury, Baturin said.

Inteko has said the two attacks might be linked to its decision to participate in regional legislative elections, which are slated for Sunday. The ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, or LDPR, which has also criticized the governor, has nominated several Inteko employees to run for seats.

Inteko is financing their campaigns, Baturin said.

Deputy Prosecutor General Savchenko said he would supervise investigations into the two attacks, which he said might be linked. He suggested that he would also look into the farmland dispute and allegations of violations during the campaign for upcoming regional legislative elections.

LDPR has complained of being unfairly barred for registering its party list for Sunday's elections and said the regional administration has made it difficult for it to campaign.

Governor Savchenko's spokeswoman, Yevgenia Dodon, said the governor would comment on Inteko's allegations only if prosecutors filed charges.

Lawyers have often been targeted over their involvement in property disputes, said Genri Reznik, president of the Moscow City Bar Association. "Lawyers have long been an at-risk group, and lawyers who are on cases with high property stakes are in a high-risk group," Reznik said, Interfax reported.