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Belgian security forces aided in detention of Makhmudov
Written by РИА Новости   
Вторник, 31 Май 2011
Russian Investigative Committee reported that Belgian security forces aided in detention of Makhmudov

ImageAssisting in the detention Rustam Makhmudov, who is accused in the murder of 'Novaya Gazeta' journalist Anna Politkovskaya, were law enforcement agencies in Belgium, where he had previous been hiding, Investigative Committee (IC) spokesman Vladimir Markin told 'RIA Novosti' on Tuesday.

According to the spokesman, the alleged murderer of the well-known journalist was arrested in Chechnya on Tuesday on orders of the IC. He was caught during the course of searches conducted by FSB and MVD operatives. Markin stated that Makhmudov had previously been charged in absentia and placed on a detention list as well on the international wanted list.

«Contributing to the detention of Makhmudov was also assistance from law enforcement agencies in Belgium, where the accused was earlier hiding. After receiving information about the alleged whereabouts of Makhmudov, the chairman of IC personally traveled to Belgium on several occasions to consult with leaders of that country's law enforcement bodies in order to trace the whereabouts of the accused,» said Markin.
He stressed that «it was after such encounters that the Belgian law enforcement agencies stepped up their actions in the search for Makhmudov there, thus he was forced to leave that country.»

Investigators are currently interviewing Makhmudov with the aim of collecting and securing evidence of his guilt in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, noted the representative of the committee.

Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist known for her reporting on human rights violations in Chechnya, was killed in the elevator of her apartment building on Lesnaya Ulitsa in Moscow on October 7, 2006. The main investigative theory was that the crime was directly related to her work as a journalist.

Attorney Anna Stavitskaya, who represents Politkovskaya's children, earlier reported to the Russian law and court information agency (RAPSI) that Makhmudov's arrest «does not close the investigation into this murder. We have repeatedly stated that this crime will only be solved when the person who ordered her murder is found and punished.»

A jury had earlier acquitted three defendants in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, but the verdict was vacated by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court, and the case file was returned to the investigation group.

The three defendants in the case accused by investigators were former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, who two weeks before Politkovskaya's murder was released from Butyrskaya prison, and an organized crime group that included the brothers Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov. They were accused of tracking the journalist's movements.

Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin reported that because of the absence of direct evidence the investigation intends to build a case based on circumstantial evidence. According to the IC head, the investigation is still ongoing, but there is still no direct evidence to prove anyone's guilt. Bastrykin noted that IC representatives in court «will convince the jury that in addition to hearsay, there is other evidence.» In early May the investigation was extended until September 7th of this year.

In 'RIA Novosti'

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