Former police chief held over murder of Politkovskaya
Thursday 25 August 2011
A former Russian police officer has been arrested on suspicion of organising the killing of investigative journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, in 2006. Lieutenant-Colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov is accused of plotting the logistics of the killing whilst he was still working as the head of a top police unit.
Ms Politkovskaya was shot four times in her apartment building, as she returned with her shopping. The death of one of Russia's most fearless journalists, a fierce critic of the Kremlin and of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, drew attention to the risks journalists face in the country. She worked for the opposition paper Novaya Gazeta, known for its investigative reporting. The paper is partly owned by Alexander Lebedev, the proprietor of The Independent.
"Pavlyuchenkov bought the weapons, worked out a plan and decided the role of each of the accomplices in preparing and committing the murder," said Vladimir Markin, for the Investigative Committee. He used his job to put Ms Politkovskaya under surveillance then passed on the information to the alleged killer, Mr Markin said.
The alleged hitman, Rustam Makhmudov, was arrested in May in Chechnya. His brothers, said to have acted as lookout and getaway driver, were acquitted of involvement in 2009 along with a retired police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, who was accused of supplying the murder weapon.
But the person who ordered the hit is still at large. Police said they have a suspect, but Mr Markin added: "There was a chain of middlemen and it depends on how long that chain was." The arrest of Mr Pavlyuchenkov also raises questions about previous investigations, when he acted as a witness against two other suspects in the case.
Anna Savitskaya, a lawyer for the Politkovskaya family, told Interfax news agency that the arrest could be a "turning point", but the journalist's son, Ilya Politkovskaya, said: "We need to wait to see how they will prove his guilt and what kind of testimony he will give."
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...