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Anna Politkovskaya’s colleagues do not agree with the Russian Prosecutor General

29.08.2007    source:

Russian Federation Prosecutor General Yury Chaika stated on Monday that the Kremlin’s foreign enemies are behind the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. However her former colleagues (from Novaya Gazeta) have carried out their investigation into her murder on 7 October 2006 and accuse Chaika of political games around the solving of the murder.

They accuse the Russian authorities of excessive politicization of the murder. Sergei Sokolov, Deputy Editor of Novaya told Radio Svoboda that he had no reason to believe the assertions made by Chaika about a foreign lead in the crime.  He believed that they had no substance, and that there were other possible versions which needed to be investigated professionally, and not as a political move.

On Monday the Prosecutor General announced that 10 suspects had been arrested. Chaika said that those accused of organizing and carrying out the murder included a Chechen criminal leader, a colonel of the FSB, a police major and three former police officers.

Sergei Sokolov stresses that the Prosecutor’s information partially coincides with the material which the newspaper has. He believes those arrested could indeed be implicated in the crime.

“We would not wish to disclose material of the criminal investigation or violate the right to presumption of innocence. Sergei Sokolov refused to name those who, according to Novaya’s information, are behind Anna Politkovskaya’s murder. 

He also stressed that the newspaper did not agree with Chaika’s allegations of foreign organization of the crime which the latter claimed was part of a conspiracy aimed at discrediting President Putin and destabilizing the situation in Russian before the elections. Sergei Sokolov also said that the Prosecutor General had effectively fully repeated Putin’s version which the later put forward immediately after the journalist’s murder. Putin said then that people hiding from the Russian law enforcement agencies had planned to sacrifice somebody in order to create anti-Russian feeling in the world.

Despite the fact that Chaika did not name the “Kremlin’s foreign enemies”,  one had the impression that he was pointing to one person – Boris Berezovsky, former Kremlin favourite and in recent times vehement critic of Putin. Berezovsky, who lives in London, called the suggestions “a hysterical reaction” to his opposition to Putin.

Anna Politkovskaya was an open critic of Putin and she chronicled the murders, abductions and torture of Chechen nationals. Her material aroused anger both in the Kremlin and among pro-Moscow leaders in Chechnya.  This was the main reason for her murder on 7 October 2006 in Moscow.

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