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Politkovskaya Killed for Reporting, Investigator Says

Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya was killed for her criticism of Russian officials, but her 2006 death was not organized by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who was a target of her criticism, an investigator who led the murder probe said.

"Politkovskaya's death was a liability for Kadyrov," investigator Petros Garibian told Kommersant in an interview published Friday. "He was jockeying for the post of Chechnya's president, and the high-profile killing of the journalist who criticized him was damaging rather than beneficial."

The Investigative Committee said last month that it has completed a probe of the suspected triggerman, Rustam Makhmudov, and four others. No date for their trial has been set.

"I think the goal of the person who ordered the crime was not simply to take revenge on Anna Politkovskaya for her critical writing," Garibian said. "He wanted a high-profile action with the goal of scaring journalists, as well as the public and the government."

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