Ilya Zimin, NTV, February 26, 2006, Moscow
Zimin, a 33-year-old correspondent for the national television station NTV, was found murdered in his Moscow apartment. Colleagues went to Zimin's home on February 27 after the reporter failed to show up for work or answer his phone, according to local press reports. They found his heavily beaten corpse lying face down in a pool of blood and much of the furniture overturned in what appeared to be a sign of a violent struggle, according to local and international press reports.
Medical experts determined that Zimin probably died around 3 p.m. the day before, February 26, as a result of head trauma. The Moscow city prosecutor opened a murder investigation. A laptop computer and cell phone were stolen from the apartment, and a bloody fingerprint belonging to someone other than the victim was found on a light switch, local news outlets reported.
Authorities said the killing was probably not related to Zimin's work at NTV. Prosecutor Anatoly Zuyev said the murder was most likely a common crime resulting from an argument. He said there was no sign of forced entry, suggesting that Zimin knew his assailant, according to press reports.
NTV News Editor Tatyana Mitkova said she did not rule out the possibility that the murder was linked to Zimin's work for the station, the news Web site Polit.ru reported. Zimin worked as a correspondent for NTV's investigative program, "Profession: Reporter." Colleague Vadim Takmenev said Zimin had recently used hidden cameras to prepare an expose of health violations at expensive Moscow restaurants, Polit.ru reported.
Authorities did not immediately identify a suspect, according to the Moscow daily Kommersant . A concierge at Zimin's apartment building initially reported that three men with police identifications visited the reporter at 10 a.m. on February 26 and left an hour later, but authorities said they determined the three had visited another apartment in the building, according to Kommersant .
Zimin was assaulted, robbed, and hospitalized with a broken leg in April 2005, but he did not link the attack to his journalist work, the Moscow daily Novoye Izvestiya reported. Born in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, he had worked as a local correspondent for state television GTRK and NTV before moving to Moscow in 2000.
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists