Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Russia / Francia14 October 2008

Apparent attempt to poison Politkovskaya family lawyer in Strasbourg

Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that the Russian lawyer who represents the family of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya may have been the target of a deliberate poisoning attempt with mercury in France.

If this is confirmed by forensic tests, the organisation calls on the French authorities to recognise the gravity of the case, to protect the victim’s family and to ensure that a thorough investigation identifies those responsible.

“This clearly seems to echo other recent cases of poisoning of Russian dissidents,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of the earlier cases may have paved the way for further criminal activity of the same kind. The French authorities must undertake to ensure that the police and judicial authorities have the resources they need to establish all the aspects of this case, identify everyone responsible, and bring them to justice.”

The Politkovskaya family lawyer, Karina Moskalenko, told Reporters Without Borders that her husband by chance discovered many balls of a silvery liquid similar to mercury under the floor mats of their car when cleaning it on 12 October. The police carried out a preliminary examination of the car and took samples for forensic tests, the results of which should be available “in a few days.”

Moskalenko has filed a formal complaint with the police in Strasbourg, where she lives with her husband and children. She and her children have been examined in a Strasbourg hospital because they have “symptoms of poisoning.” She said she did not know how long the presumably toxic substance had been in the car.

She declined to suggest who might be responsible for the apparent poisoning attempt until the results of the initial police investigation are known. “I do not know if it was an attempt to intimidate me or eliminate me,” she told Reporters Without Borders. She nonetheless said she thought there was “a link” with her work as a lawyer, adding that she was concerned for her children’s safety.

Moskalenko was supposed to have travelled to Moscow for a preliminary hearing tomorrow in the trial of Politkovskaya’s accused murderers before a military court. A reporter for the Moscow-based Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Politkovskaya was gunned down in her Moscow apartment building on 7 October 2006.

Moskalenko also represents Natalia Morar, a young Moldovan journalist who had been prevented from entering Russia for nearly a year, former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and many other Russian citizens who have brought a complaint against Russia before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.




  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

in the annual report
Russia - Annual Report 2008
Russia - Annual report 2007
Russia - 2006 Annual report
In this country
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
12 May - France
TV reporter cleared of inciting teenager in body piercing “suspension”
2 April - France
“Dangerous trend” condemned after anti-crime unit questions four journalists over Sarkozy video
26 March - France
Two website journalists summoned for questioning about Sarkozy video
4 March - France
Anger over new case of journalists being treated as “police auxiliaries or even criminals”

in the annual report
France - Annual Report 2008
France - Annual report 2007
France - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds
26 May - Georgia
Authorities urged not to rule out political motive in grenade attack on TV station

Reports
5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison
archives

Sign the petitions
Uzbekistan
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives