Chechens face second trial in Anna Politkovskaya murder case

Five men accused of involvement in contract killing of investigative journalist facing new trial

Moscow

The trial of five men accused of involvement in the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya will begin in Moscow tomorrow, in the latest attempt by authorities to bring to justice those behind one of the most notorious contract killings in recent Russian history.

Ms Politkovskaya, who wrote for Novaya Gazeta, the Russian paper part-owned by Alexander Lebedev, who is also the financial backer of The Independent, was gunned down in the entrance to her Moscow apartment in October 2006.

On trial will be three brothers from Chechnya, their uncle, and a former police officer. Three of the accused have already been acquitted by a jury in 2009, but that decision was overturned by Russia’s supreme court, and a new jury was chosen for a new trial. Lom-Ali Gaitukayev is accused of organising the hit, while his nephew Rustam Makhmudov allegedly pulled the trigger.

Last December, Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, a former police officer, was given an 11-year sentence for helping in the logistics of the murder, after cooperating with investigators. He tracked Ms Politkovskaya prior to her killing to learn her routine, and acquired the gun used to shoot her.

At the time of his conviction, Ms Politkovskaya’s colleagues and family said they were pleased that Pavlyuchenkov had been convicted but expressed frustration that he had not been forced to name those who ordered the attack.

“Pavlyuchenkov knows the name of the go-between at least, and very likely also the name of the mastermind, and he is being allowed not to name these people,” said Novaya Gazeta’s deputy editor Sergei Sokolov at the time.

Many of Ms Politkovskaya’s former colleagues have voiced suspicions that Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya, could have been behind the killing. Ms Politkovskaya published a number of hard-hitting articles about rights abuses in Chechnya and she was preparing a story about torture in the region when she was killed. Mr Kadyrov has denied all involvement, saying that he would never kill a woman.

The Investigative Committee has suggested that the murder, along with other killings of those critical of the Kremlin or Mr Kadyrov, could have been ordered by Boris Berezovsky, the fugitive Russian oligarch who died earlier this year in Surrey, as an elaborate ruse to discredit the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin, in the days after the murder, said that Ms Politkovskaya’s “ability to influence political life in Russia was extremely insignificant”, and that her death caused Russia’s reputation more harm than her articles.

The new trial may establish who pulled the trigger; it is unlikely to reveal who ordered Ms Politkovskaya dead.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?