Five convicted of killing Russian journalist Politkovskaya

Tue May 20, 2014 4:04pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Steve Gutterman

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Five men were convicted on Tuesday of murdering 2006 of investigative journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya, including three defendants who had been acquitted in a previous trial.

Politkovskaya's killing drew attention to the risks faced by Russians who challenge the authorities and deepened Western concerns for the rule of law under President Vladimir Putin, who was then serving his second term.

Another jury's 2009 acquittal of three of the men who were found guilty of murder on Tuesday embarrassed Russian prosecutors and was later thrown out by the Supreme Court, which ordered a new trial.

The defendants were three Chechen brothers, one of whom was accused of shooting Politkovskaya in the lobby of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006, as well as their uncle and a former police officer.

The convictions are a victory for Russian prosecutors and the state, but rights activists and relatives of Politkovskaya say that justice will not be done until those who ordered her contract-style killing are identified and convicted.

"The murder will only be solved when the name of the person who ordered it is known," a lawyer for Politkovskaya's family, Anna Stavitskaya, was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

She welcomed the jury's verdict but said the men found guilty "are only a few of the people who should be brought to justice", RIA reported.

A spokesman for the federal Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, said the authorities were doing all they can to identify and track down the person behind the killing, Russian news agencies reported.   Continued...

 
People hold portraits of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya on the sixth anniversary of her death, next to her block of flats in central Moscow October 7, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin