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Anna Politkovskaya hearings begin

August 5, 2009 - MOSCOW

Anna Politkovskaya

Preliminary hearings start in the Moscow Regional Military Court for the retrial of three men suspected in the 2006 murder of Russian investigative journalist and Kremlin critic . The closed-door hearings will consider procedural points and determine a date for the retrial, according to Interfax. The court cleared the three men in February of being accessories to murder, but the supreme court overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial. The shooter is still at large. The court cleared brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov and a former police officer, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, of organizing the crime. The brothers had been accused of driving the killer to the scene and the policeman of providing logistical assistance. A fourth defendant, Pavel Ryaguzov, a secret police agent, was acquitted in a separate trial for allegedly providing the killer with Politkovskaya's address, but he will be retried with the other three men. The gunman, who actually shot Politkovskaya in the lobby of her central Moscow apartment building on 7 Oct 2006 has not been apprehended. According to DWW and AFP, many Russians and rights organizations believe the contract-style killing of Politkovskaya in the lobby of her central Moscow apartment building was politically motivated and connected with her critical reporting on human rights conditions in Chechnya. Human rights activist Natalya Estemirova who, like Politkovskaya, had reported on crimes against civilians in Chechnya, was killed in Jul 2009. Jul/09

New Politkovskaya trial ordered for August after acquittal rejection (DWW 22 Jul 2009)

Politkovskaya Hearings to Start Aug. 5 (Moscow Times 23 Jul 2009)

Date written/update: 2009-08-05