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Politkovskaya murder retrial begins in Moscow, critics question quthorities' will to solve case

Politkovskaya murder retrial begins in Moscow
A man places flowers near a poster of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow.

Three suspects in the murder of journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya went on trial for a second time in Moscow Wednesday, according to news reports. No one has been sentenced for the October 2006 killing of Politkovskaya, who published scathing exposes of official corruption and rights abuses.

The three alleged accomplices, the only people so far charged in connection with the murder, were acquitted in February after evidence from what Politkovskaya's family said was a botched investigation failed to convince a jury. A higher court ordered a new judge and jury to hear the same evidence again, but supporters say this is a waste of time and have called for a new probe to find those who ordered the crime. The man accused of pulling the trigger is on the run.

"The trial is not helping to solve the crime," Karina Moskalenko, a lawyer for Politkovskaya's family, said ahead of the hearing. "We want them to start a proper investigation. The killers are walking free and the savages who thought up this disgusting crime against a defenceless woman have not been brought to justice."

Lawyers representing the family Wednesday asked the judge to send the case back to the prosecutors for further investigation. Politkovskaya's son Ilya said he doubted the request would be granted. "If the court refuses, it means they don't want to find the truth," he said.

The three suspects on trial are all accused of being accessories to the murder and the authorities have still failed to find the triggerman, let alone identify the mastermind of the killing. Chechen brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov are accused of acting as drivers at the murder scene for the killer, who prosecutors say was a third brother, Rustam, who is still at large. Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, a former police investigator, is charged with providing logistical assistance for the killing.

Date posted: August 5, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 191