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Russia3 June 2008

Suspect bailed in Politkovskaya murder inquiry as initial investigation nears end

The investigative commission of the prosecutor’s office probing the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya said on 3 June that the preliminary inquiry will be wound up on 20 June. Civil parties to the case and the accused will then have access to the file.

The head of the investigative commission also cancelled a custody order against one of the suspects, Shamil Burayev, but banned him from leaving the country.

Burayev is the fourth suspect in the case to be released after a series of arrests were made in August 2007.

27.05 - One of Politkovskaya murder suspects released

Tamerlan Makhmudov, one of the nine people who have been officially identified as suspects in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, has been released on condition that he not leave the country, his lawyer said yesterday.

Laura Shambayeva said her client was released “because the investigations concerning him have already been carried out.” A request for the release of another of the suspects, Makhmudov’s brother, Ibrahim Makhmudov, on the grounds of poor health, was rejected yesterday by a Moscow court.

The Russian public prosecutor’s office said it intended to verify the legality of these decisions.

14.05 - Investigators name Politkovskaya’s suspected killer, release two other suspects

Reporters Without Borders notes that on 12 May, Vladimir Markin, the spokesman of the committee in charge of investigating the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, named the man suspected of shooting her and said an international warrant has been issued for his arrest.

“Like all those who are closely following the Politkovskaya investigation, we hope that her murderer will be quickly arrested and that all of his accomplices will also be arrested and charged, but we also believe that it is essential to identify and arrest the person or persons who gave the orders for her murder,” Reporters Without Borders said.

The person suspected of shooting Politkovskaya, who covered Chechnya for the Moscow-based Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was officially identified by Markin as Rustam Makhmudov, a 34-year-old Russian citizen of Chechen origin who was born in Kyrgyzstan during the Soviet era. Russian news media already named him as the leading suspected in March.

Markin said a formal investigation has been opened against Makhmudov and an international warrant has been issued for his arrested. The Ria Novosti news agency nonetheless reported yesterday that Interpol’s Russian office had not yet received the papers relating to the warrant.

Markin also announced that two previously arrested suspects, Magomed Dimelkhanov and Dmitri Grachev, have been released but are forbidden to leave the country.

Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Chaika annnounced in August 2007 that 11 suspects had been arrested in connection with Politkovskaya’s murder on 7 October 2006 in Moscow. Two of them were released soon afterwards.

Seven people remain currently in custody. The detained suspects include three other people with the surname Makhmudov - Tamerlan, Dzhabril and Ibragim - who are believed to be Rustam Makhmudov’s brothers.




  In this country
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
1 May - Russia
Newspaper editor in coma after latest case of violence against journalists
10 April - Russia
Prosecutors say Novaya Gazeta journalist’s mysterious death was not murder
1er April - Russia
Local newspaper reporter dies two days after beating, human rights activist attacked outside Moscow home
16 March - Russia
Official issued Politkovskaya killer with fake passport

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