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Russian prosecutors wrap up Anna Politkovskaya murder case, refer it to court

Russian prosecutors wrap up Anna Politkovskaya murder case, refer it to court

The Russian prosecutor-general's office has completed its investigation into the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya and sent the case to court, Interfax news agency reported Thursday. It was not immediately clear Thursday which court will hear the case.

Politkovskaya, an award-winning reporter for the Novaya Gazeta, was one of the strongest critics in the Russian media of the Kremlin's handling of the conflict in Chechnya. She was gunned down in the entrance of her apartment building in central Moscow in October 2006.

Her son, Ilya Politkovskiy, told a press conference organised by Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) in Paris, “Our fear now is that the trial will be held behind closed doors.” Politkovskiy insisted that, regardless of what the Russian judicial authorities say, “the case cannot be considered closed because the defendants include neither the person who fired the shots nor the people who were behind my mother’s death.”

The Investigative Committee, a semiautonomous agency within the prosecutor-general's office, has charged three men with Politkovskaya's murder. Two of them are ethnic Chechens, brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, while the other is a former operative in the anti-organised crime unit of the Moscow City Police Department, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov.

Pavel Ryaguzov, a lieutenant colonel in the Federal Security Service, was arrested last year in connection with the crime but has been cleared. He remains in custody awaiting trial along with Khadzhikurbanov on charges of abuse of authority, said Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin, Interfax reported.

Investigators suspect Rustam Makhmudov, also a Chechen, who is yet to be caught, of acting as the mastermind in the murder. They are also looking for a number of other people suspected of helping plan and organise the murder, Interfax said.

“Dmitri Medvedev’s election as president has brought no improvement in the press freedom situation in Russia. The broadcast media are under the Kremlin’s control and violence against journalists has not decreased,” said Jean-François Julliard,, RSF secretary-general.

Date posted: October 3, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 471