Court overturns Politkovskaya verdict
Friday 26 June 2009
Russia's Supreme Court has overturned the acquittal of three men charged with the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist whose reporting directly challenged the country's most powerful leaders.
A Moscow jury acquitted the defendants – two Chechen brothers and a former policeman – in February after a trial that Ms Politkovskaya's supporters said was undermined by prosecution errors. The acquittal was an embarrassment for the Russian government, which has appeared eager to fend off charges that journalists and Kremlin critics can be murdered with impunity. Lawyers for the prosecution appealed against the verdict, accusing the judge of making numerous procedural violations.
The Supreme Court agreed there had been a violation of procedural rules and ordered a new jury trial. Not guilty verdicts are often reversed by Russia's higher courts.
All three defendants were accused of playing minor roles in the shooting dead of Ms Politkovskaya in 2006. One of Ms Politkovskaya's editors at Novaya Gazeta newspaper said the main problem with the trial was that it was "just about these extras," referring to the three defendants.
"We're more interested in the mastermind and the killer," Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor, said on Ekho Moskvy radio. "It's completely obvious that today's ruling was based on a political decision, not a procedural one. For the authorities, the most important thing was just to make sure someone went to prison."
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...