Arrests in murder of Anna Politkovskaya
Ten suspects have been arrested for the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya last October. The ten include “five police and Federal Security Service officers and three Chechen brothers,” according to the Moscow Times which went on to state that
Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, in announcing the arrests Monday, said Politkovskaya had known and met the person who ordered her killing and that her death was probably carried out on behalf of someone living abroad who wanted to discredit Russia. Those arrested belong to a Moscow-based criminal group specializing in contract killings and led by an ethnic Chechen, Chaika told reporters.
In the New York Times, Dmitry A. Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, the independent newspaper where Politkovskaya worked, called the prosecutor’s account of the murders’ motives “a nightmare.’ “Political interference is hindering the investigation,” said Muratov in a telephone interview with the newspaper. “The prosecutor general is acting not like a prosecutor general but a politician who works at the instructions of the president.”
The Moscow Times also notes:
Politkovskaya was the thirteenth reporter in Russia killed in a contract-style murder since Putin came to power in 2000, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. A lack of convictions in any of those cases has raised doubts about the state’s commitment to protecting journalists and a free press.