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Notorious Russian spammer Vardan Kushnir was found bludgeoned to death in his Moscow apartment on Sunday. He was killed by repeated blows to the head, Russian news agency Interfax reports.

Kushnir, 35, headed the Center for American English, whose aggressive spamming practices have angered net users. In the past the Center’s telephone was advertised as a contact number for "cheap sex services". Separately, disgruntled surfers have blitzed the American English Center with nuisance phone calls and returned e,mail messages. Lawmakers are considering the introduction of anti-spam laws but the practice remains legal in Russia and Kushnir remained defiant about his "right to spam".

The public prosecutions office of Moscow's Central administrative district has yet to establish a motive for Kushnir's death, but is treating the case as murder.

Russia’s Interior Ministry reports 1,935 unsolved murders, 73,000 burglaries and 11,400 robberies between January and May 2005, Mosnews reports. ®

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