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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reporter's Death 'Not Murder'

Prosecutors said Friday that they had ruled out foul play in the mysterious death of Kommersant journalist Ivan Safronov in March.

Investigators have found nothing suggesting that Safronov was murdered and consider suicide to be the likeliest explanation for his plunge from a fifth-story window, a City Prosecutor's Office spokesman said.

Safronov might have decided to commit suicide because of "personal matters," the spokesman told Interfax.

Safronov, 51, a retired colonel who worked as a columnist at the newspaper for more than 10 years, fell to his death from a window of his apartment building in southeast Moscow on March 2.

His family, friends and colleagues have said he had no reason to kill himself. Kommersant deputy editor Ilya Bulavinov expressed skepticism about investigators' conclusions but said he was not surprised. "We did not expect any explanation other than suicide, which we still do not believe," he said.

Safronov repeatedly dismayed the defense and security establishment by reporting on secretive arms deals and military mishaps. Kommersant reported after his death that he had planned to file an article on sensitive arms deals with Syria and Iran.

While investigators have ruled out the possibility that Safronov was murdered, they are exploring whether someone may have driven him to suicide, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, Interfax reported.