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Demands accounting of Zhivkov daughter's death

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- A Sofia newspaper urged the government Monday to tell the truth about the fate of Lyudmila Zhivkova, daughter of former hard-line leader Todor Zhivkov, whose death nine years ago was attributed to a brain hemorrhage.

The weekly Pogled said rumors that Zhivkova, who had served as minister of culture, had been murdered or committed suicide have run rampant since she died July 21, 1981.

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It cited a statement from one of the doctors who attended Zhivkova's autopsy and reportedly said, 'There are certain things which should not be disclosed for the sake of the memory of the deceased.'

Various accounts of her death ranged from murder by political opponents to suicide to 'complete exhaustion as a result of following Indian diets too strictly,' said Pogled, the newspaper of the Union of Buylgarian Journalists.

Zhivkova was the only daughter of Zhivkov, Bulgaria's authoritarian leader for 35 years until overthrown by pro-reform communists last Nov. 10.

In the last years of her life she was heavily involved in politics, becoming a member of the Communist Party Central Committee and minister of culture. Her death, reportedly by a brain hemorrhage, came a short time after she sustained head injuries in an automobile accident.

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Zhivkov was arrested two months after his removal from power and is now awaiting trial on charges of gross malfeasance.

Pogled urged the government to publish all documents related to Zhivkova's death to 'clarify the truth.'

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