In this Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 photo, journalist Mikhail Beketov, who has extensively covered the Khimki forest dispute and was brutally beaten in 2008, arrives at a court in Moscow's suburb of Khimki, where he stands trial on libel charges brought by the Khimki mayor (AP)
MOSCOW (AP) - Mikhail Beketov, a Russian journalist who suffered brain damaged and lost a leg after a brutal assault that followed his campaigns against a highway project outside Moscow, has died. He was 55.
His lawyer, Stalina Gurevitch, told the Rapsi news agency that Beketov died in hospital Monday after choking on food.
Beketov was part of a group fighting against the construction of a highway through the Khimki forest near Moscow. Several people with high-profile political connections reportedly stood to profit from the highway's construction, including Arkady Rotenberg, a billionaire who once taught President Vladimir Putin judo.
After the 2008 attack, Beketov was in a coma and spent more than two years in hospitals. The attackers were never identified.