4 Acquitted in Russian Journalist's Murder

Politkovskaya's killer remains at large after shambolic trial
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2009 8:28 AM CST
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev holds slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya's book "Why" at its presentation at the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow, Wednesday, May 30, 2007.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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(Newser) – Four men were acquitted today on charges related to the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a prominent Russian journalist shot dead in 2006. Two Chechen brothers and a former Moscow policeman were found not guilty of offering operational support to her killer, and a Russian spy was cleared in a related case. Politkovskaya's murderer is still at large, and her colleagues suspect someone powerful ordered her killing, the Guardian reports.

Both the investigation and subsequent trial were deeply flawed, and critical evidence has been lost. The presumed murderer, a brother of the two acquitted Chechens, is believed to have fled Russia. Politkovskaya's newspaper has undertaken its own investigation; it has not released its findings, but Chechen president Ramzan Kadurov, whom the journalist frequently accused of human rights abuses, is widely suspected of being involved.