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Politkovskaya Killer May Be Female

New DNA evidence uncovered in the investigation into the slaying of the crusading journalist Anna Politkovskaya suggests that the killer might be a woman, a lawyer in the case said Thursday.

A re-examination of the gun recovered from the crime scene revealed traces of female DNA on the weapon, Murad Musayev, a defense lawyer for suspects in the 2006 killing, told Interfax.

Politkovskaya was gunned down in her apartment building on Oct. 7, 2006, after years of writing critical reports about human rights abuse in Chechnya.

The prosecution has insisted that Rustam Makhmudov, who hails from Chechnya, was the killer. He was arrested last year after spending five years in hiding abroad.

Three other men, including two of Makhmudov's brothers, were tried for the murder, but were acquitted in 2009. The Supreme Court later overturned the ruling and has sent the case back to be investigated again.

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