Jury acquits all accused over Anna Politkovskaya’s murder


RIA Novosti reports that the jury in Moscow have unanimously acquitted the Makhmudov brothers, former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and former FSB officer Pavel Ryaguzov over the killing of journalist and human rights defender Anna Politkovskaya.

They considered that the investigators had not proven that the men were implicated in the crime.

The defendants are to be freed from custody.

The prosecution had claimed that former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov who had been freed from prison two weeks prior to the crime had organised a criminal gang including the two Makhmudov brothers. They were accused of carrying out surveillance of the journalist. According to the prosecutor’s version, one of the brothers accused had brought a third brother – Rustam – to Anna Politkovskaya’s apartment block and that Rustam had actually fired the shots..

All the above mentioned, including Rustam Makhmudov who is on the run, are the only people who have been charged in any way over the murder on 7 October 2006 of Anna Politkovskya.

Dmitry Muratov, Chief Editor of “Novaya Gazeta”

“The murderers of  Kholodov are at large. And Anya’s murderers and those who ordered the killing. A case is in the court, but the murderers and those who commissioned the crime are at large. This is despite a brilliant investigation, and that’s said without irony.

We won’t let ourselves be conned. While the murders and those who ordered the crime are at large, Anya’s case is not over. Anya’s case is not only the case over her terrible death. Anya’s case is 500 reports in “Novaya” where she struggled against two foul features of the present regime – its tendency to violence and its greed.

Радио "Свобода", 07.10.2008

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