Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Politkovskaya Murder Witnesses to be Questioned Behind Closed Doors

Four witnesses in the trial of the men accused of killing investigative Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya will be questioned behind closed doors, the prosecutor in the case said Tuesday.

The testimonies of these witnesses are classified top secret, meaning that they cannot be heard by journalists and the wider audience, Prosecutor Maria Semyonenko said. She did not explain why the evidence was classified.

Politkovskaya, who wrote for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot dead in her apartment building on October 7, 2006.

She had reported widely on human rights abuses in Chechnya and was a vocal critic of the Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov and President Vladimir Putin.

The five suspects, who have pleaded not guilty, include former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov; three Makhmudov brothers — Rustam, Ibragim, and Dzhabrail — and their uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev.

A sixth suspect, former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who earlier signed a plea bargain, gave evidence against his accomplices and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2012.

Investigators believe that Rustam Makhmudov committed the murder with the help of his brothers, their uncle and Khadzhikurbanov.

Three of the five suspects standing trial at the Moscow City Court — Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov and Sergei Khadzhikurbanov — were tried and acquitted in a jury trial in 2009. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling and ordered a retrial. Prosecutors have failed to identify the mastermind behind the killing.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more