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World Briefs II

Former Intelligence Chief Charged With Murder of Journalist

The Washington Post

Russian authorities have charged the former head of intelligence for the army's paratroops with plotting the bombing murder of a young journalist in a case that came to be seen as a symbol of Russia's runaway violence and corruption.

Dmitry Kholodov, 27, a reporter for the popular Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper here, was investigating alleged arms trafficking by Russian officers while they were based in Germany.

On Oct. 17, 1994, he told his editors he was to receive some leaked documents, and he went to a train station. Later, in the newsroom, he opened an attache case he had been given and a powerful bomb went off, killing him and wounding another person.

But the case languished, as have dozens of other contract murders of bankers, businessmen, lawmakers and prominent personalities in the early post-Soviet years of Russia's transition to free markets and democracy.

In the Kholodov case, the general prosecutor last week announced the arrest of the former paratroops' intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Pavel Popovskikh, who was charged with murder and conspiracy.

According to NTV commercial television, investigators found some of Kholodov's newspaper articles, which had been critical of the military, when they searched Popovskikh's office. But details of the investigation are not yet known, and in the past, other suspects have been arrested without result. Interfax reported that Popovskikh's arrest would be followed by that of other officers.

Zamora Described as Mastermind, Victim in Closing Arguments

The Washington Post
Fort WortH

In final arguments for the Diane Zamora murder trial, jurors heard the former Naval Academy midshipman described Monday as both a cold-blooded participant in the slaying of 16-year-old Adrianne Jones and as a helpless victim of a controlling boyfriend.

As the jury was charged with deciding which portrayal to believe, the case seemed to hinge on whether the seven men and five women on the panel believed the testimony Zamora herself gave when she took the witness stand in her own defense. During two riveting days of testimony last week, she emphatically denied any involvement in the slaying.

In separate written confessions to police, however, Zamora and her boyfriend David Graham, a former cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy, said her rage over Graham's one-time sexual tryst with Jones led the couple to plot the girl's demise and leave her shot to death on a dark country road on Dec. 4, 1995.

A medical examiner testified that Jones suffered a head wound so severe that it alone would have killed Jones if left untreated for half an hour. While the prosecution said the wound came from a barbell wielded by Zamora, the defense suggested Graham struck Jones with the butt of his 9mm Markarov pistol before shooting her twice in the head while Zamora cowered in disbelief in the car.

Graham will be tried separately later this year. He and Zamora, both now 20, were high-school seniors when Jones was killed.