Russian investigator says death threat claims are "lies"

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Russian investigator says death threat claims are "lies"

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The man in charge of criminal investigations in Russia has described allegations that he made a death threat against a journalist as “outright lies.”

The Novaya Gazeta newspaper accused Alexander Bastrykin of targeting Sergei Sokolov to avenge unfavourable coverage.

“You have threatened my deputy with murder,” the paper’s editor wrote in an open letter posted online.

While he did not agree with the letter, Bastrykin did apologise for lashing out at the same journalist in a separate incident.

“With this mobile phone he called Sergei Sokolov and said sorry,” Dmitry Muratov, Novaya Gazeta’s Editor-in-Chief, told euronews.

“Sokolov said that both sides had been very emotional – and that from now on he can come back to live and work in Russia.”

Sokolov fled the country after the alleged death threat was made against him.

“Alexander Bastrykin has responded to the accusations made in the newspaper’s open letter and he met with the editor-in-chief and his colleagues,” euronews correspondent Alexander Shashkov said.