Novy Peterburg reporter Andruschenko beaten, dies
Denis Usov, the newspaper editor-in-chief said that the journalist was attacked because of "hot-bottom articles" in the newspaper.
Journalist and one of the co-founders of Novy Peterburg (New Petersburg) Nikolay Andruschenko died at 74 in Mariinsky Hospital in St. Petersburg after being beaten, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Denis Usov told RBC.
According to him, Nikolay Stepanovich [Andrushchenko] had been severely beaten near his own house.
"They wanted to have some documents. And then he was found with a broken head on near the house March 9. No one could establish the origin of the trauma: either he fell down himself, or he suffered a blow. He had been in a coma for a month and today he died," Usov said.
Novy Peterburg director Alevtina Ageyeva had told Open Russia that the newspaper journalist and former deputy of the Leningrad City Council Nikolay Andrushchenko was in a medical coma on March 31. According to her, he had not been able to recover after the beating on 10 March for two weeks.
Ageyeva said that in the evening of March 9, Andruschenko went to a business meeting, then on the night of March 10, an ambulance picked him up and took to the Mariinsky Hospital with a head injury. After the surgery, the doctors induced a coma, after which he never regained consciousness. "The attack is investigated by the 78th police department in the Central District of St. Petersburg," specified the director of the publishing house.
According to Ageyeva, "the police are unlikely to put much effort into the investigation, since Andruschenko wrote a lot about the arbitrariness in the police, and he was not liked for his intransigence."
The editor-in-chief told Open Russia that the journalist had been attacked because of "hot-bottom articles" in the newspaper. According to him, recently the publication covered the protests, "the authorities' demonstrative struggle against corruption", as well as memoirs of journalist Dmitry Zapolsky about the ties of "criminal Petersburg" to the city authorities in the 1990s.
According to Open Russia, Andruschenko, who wrote polemical articles, was accused of libel after the search in 2007, as well as of calls for extremism, and pressure on the judiciary. In the same year, Andrushchenko became a defendant in a criminal case initiated under three articles: for libel, under Art. 129 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, public calls for extremist activity, Art. 280 and an insult of representative of authority, Art. 319 of the Criminal Code, Interfax specified.
In 2007, the St. Petersburg City Court decided to close Novy Peterburg because of two warnings. One of them was announced on November 22, 2007 because of Andrushchenko's article "Why I'm Going to the Dissenters’ March", the second one was on November 30, for article by Konstantin Chernyaev "This is a real candidate". The decision was appealed. In 2009, the Supreme Court confirmed cancellation of the ban on the newspaper and it started to sell again.
The Dzerzhinsky Court of St. Petersburg found Andruschenko guilty of insulting a government official in connection with the execution of his official duties on June 22, 2009, an employee of the Prosecutor's Office of St. Petersburg, Dmitry Mazurov. For this, he was sentenced to a fine of 20 thousand rubles. Also, the Dzerzhinsky Court found Andrushchenko guilty of inciting social discord against the employees of the St. Petersburg Prosecutor's Office, Elena Sidorenko and Konstantin Sharygin. He got a suspended sentence of one year, but was released after the expiration of the statute of limitations.
According to the investigation, having taken a five-billion loan ($88.7m) from Sberbank in 2008, the owner of Pavlovskgranit deliberately split up the assets of the company so that creditors could not bring a charge against him to court.