Former Russian press minister Lesin dies in Washington

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2015 8:37 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Russian press minister Mikhail Lesin, who once headed state-controlled media giant Gazprom-Media, died of a heart attack in Washington, local and Russian media reported on Friday.

ABC quoted a Russian and a U.S. official as saying Lesin was found dead inside a hotel room in Washington's Dupont Circle area on Thursday.

Russia Today (RT) quoted family members as saying Lesin died of a heart attack on Wednesday.

RT quoted TASS as saying police had found no signs of foul play but that a formal investigation into his death had been launched.

A representative for Washington police was not immediately available to comment.

ABC said Lesin, who was Russia's Minister of Press from 1999 to 2004, has been accused of censoring Russia's independent media. He became head of Gazprom-Media Holding in 2013 but resigned the following year.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler and Bill Trott; Editing by Ken Wills)