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The Politkovskaya Case: Reloaded
Written by Андрей РЯБЦЕВ • КП   
Четверг, 25 Июнь 2009
Новое рассмотрение дела об убийстве Анны Политковской, скорее всего, начнется уже в июле
Новое рассмотрение дела об убийстве Анны Политковской, скорее всего, начнется уже в июле
Фото: Владимир ВЕЛЕНГУРИН

One of the most sensational cases in recent times, the murder of opposition journalist Anna Politkovskaya, is to be reexamined.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation had overturned sentences related to the case for two Chechen natives, Jabrail and Ibrahim Makhmudov, as well as for FSB officer Pavel Ryaguzov and former Moscow city major crimes operative Sergey Khajikurbanov.

Recall that all four had been found innocent by the Moscow military district court on February 20th of this year. This followed an almost two-year investigation of the murder by the most qualified detectives of the general procurator's office. The court explained that Judge Yevgeniy Zubov had allowed legal errors during the trial, and the Supreme Court agreed.

«The decision was definitely expected,» explained Murad Musaev, attorney for the Makhmudov brothers. «But it doesn't mean that Ibrahim and Jabrail will return to jail. They appeared before the Supreme Court and listened to the sentence. Later they returned to the Chechen Republic, and will await the pleasure of the court at their residences. Despite the passionate desires of some people, the Makhmudovs are not planning to go into hiding.»

Recall that the oldest of the Makhmudov brothers, Rustam, had been tried for Politkovskaya's murder. He is on the run and supposedly in Belgium, and there is talk that he may no longer be alive. Investigators believe that it was he who shot Politkovskaya, while his brothers participated in preparing for the murder.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies need not search for Ryaguzov and Khajikurbanov. Sergey Khajikurbanov is presently in protective custody. The former policeman is accused of extorting 350 thousand US Dollars from the main witness in the Politkovskaya case, former Interior Ministry officer Dmitriy Pavlyuchenkov. Pavel Ryaguzov, on the other hand, after being freed has returned to his former job with the FSB.

The son and daughter of Anna Politkovskaya are not happy with the decision of the Supreme Court, and after the February ruling Ilya Politkovsky declared that those freed by the court nonetheless were still connected to the murder of his mother.

«Most likely, a new examination of the case will begin in July,» said Andrei Litvinov, attorney for Khajikurbanov.

As was the case the last time, a panel of judges will examine the case. By the way, after the overturning of the sentence, many believed that the attorneys for the assumed killers had simply «messed with the minds» of the unqualified judges, and so now the composition of the panel will be changed completely.

By Andrei RYABTSEV in ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’, June 25th, 2009

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