Suspects charged in Anna Poltikovskaya murder

The International Federation of Journalists today welcomed news that three men have been charged in relation to the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

But it has said that those who ordered the killing still need to face charges.

IFJ general secretary Aidan White said of the developments in the Politkovskaya case: ‘We welcome the fact that there is justice on the way but in order for justice to be fully delivered those who ordered killing must be held accountable.”

Russian authorities have charged a former police officer and two men from Chechnya in relation to the killing.

A further man, a former officer from the Russian Federal Security Service, is facing charges of extortion and abuse of office – which arose from the Politkovskaya inquiry, but may not be related to her case.

According to AP, the committee investigating the murder did not cite an alleged motive for Politkovskaya’s killing or specify the suspects’ roles in her murder. A separate probe into the suspected gunman Rustam Makhmudov, who remains at large, will reportedly continue.

Politkovskaya’s colleagues at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper have accused authorities of deliberately undermining the investigation by releasing details about the case before it reaches trial.

Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov said yesterday that leaks from the investigation allowed the alleged gunman to escape arrest. Muratov called it too early to consider the murder solved.

Russian officials have alleged that Politkovskaya’s killing was ordered by someone living outside Russia with the aim of discrediting the Kremlin.

Award-winning journalist Politkovskaya had exposed widespread human rights abuses by Russian forces in Chechnya.

She was shot in the entrance to her block of flats on 7 October 2006.

According to the IFJ, around 255 journalists and media staff have been killed in Russia since 1993.

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