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 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 4 Kanye West climbs on table at Nando's to crowd chants of 'Yeezus' before Brit Awards 2015 performance of 'All Day'
- 5 Muslim women's rights campaigner writes heartfelt letter to girls thinking of joining Isis
Ukraine crisis: Putin will cut gas to Europe unless Russia is paid by the end of the week
Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Missing Mexico teachers: Protests organised by union quashed in violent police crackdown
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we now know about man named as Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Ukraine crisis: 'One miscalculation, and Britain faces an existential threat to our whole being...'
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...