Bertelsmann exec slain in Russia

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Marina Pisareva, production manager at Bertelsmann's Russian publishing house Bertelsmann Media Moscow, was stabbed to death at her home this weekend, Russian authorities said Monday.

Police found the body of the 47-year-old Pisareva on Sunday at her suburban home in Odintsovo, southwest Moscow.

Pisareva is believed to have died of stab wounds from an antique Russian "kinshala" dagger that Russian media reports said had come from her own collection.

Preliminary police investigations suggest that nothing was taken from Pisareva's home. Yelena Rassokhina, a spokeswoman for the Moscow city prosecutor's office, told Radio Mayak on Monday that police have begun a murder investigation.

Russian police were refusing Monday to rule out any connection between Pisareva's death and her professional life.

While a Bertelsmann spokesman said that Pisareva's work for the German group was "entirely nonpolitical," official denials did little to stop a wave of speculation in the German media about possible political motives for the killing.

Nick Holdsworth contributed to this report.
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