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.

New Case Into Politkovskaya Killing Goes to Court

A case against five men suspected of being involved in the 2006 high-profile murder of Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya has been sent to court, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Politkovskaya, who was a journalist with the opposition-leaning Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building on October 7, 2006.

Investigators suspect she was killed over her articles, many of which criticized the Kremlin's policy in the North Caucasus and the leadership in Chechnya.

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, from the Chechen republic, stands accused of organizing the murder on the request of an unknown mastermind for $150,000.

The prosecutors allege that he hired? three of his relatives — Rustam, Ibragim and? Dzhabrail? Makhmudov — and former police official Sergei Khadzhikurbanov to carry out the killing.

Rustam Makhmudov is accused of being the man who actually fired the gun.

Deputy editor-in-chief at Novaya Gazeta, Sergei Sokolov, expressed hope that the trial will make some headway in the long-running investigation.

"As for the extent of their [the defendants'] involvement, let us wait for the court. I have no doubt that they are connected to the killing, and the court must determine the role they each played," Sokolov, who also oversees the paper's independent inquiry in the murder, told RIA Novosti.

One former police official has been already charged and convicted over the killing in a separate trial in December. He reached a plea bargain with the investigation and testified against the other suspects in the case.

Two of the Makhmudov brothers, Ibragim and Dzhabrail, and Khadzhikurbanov were tried and acquitted in a jury trial in 2009 on the same charges.

The Supreme Court overturned the ruling, and a new investigation into the case was launched.

This new case will also be considered by a jury.

Human rights groups and Western governments often cite the killing of Politkovskaya as an extreme example of the pressure under which journalists work in the country, and as an indication of the limits on freedom of speech in Russia.

Politkovskya's colleagues and relatives have repeatedly urged investigators to identify the mastermind behind the crime, who remains at large.

… 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