Controversy is surrounding the high profile investigations of two slain
journalists in Russia and the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.
VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports.
Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor says in a statement
that the preliminary investigation of the 2006 Anna Politkovskaya
murder is over, ending with formal charges against three suspects from
They are identified as Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, and
brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov. A fourth man, former FSB
officer Pavel Ryaguzov, has been charged with extortion and abuse of
But Sergei Sokolov, an editor at Novaya Gazeta, the
newspaper where Politkovskaya worked, told VOA that the investigation
was conducted in a way that allowed alleged triggerman Rustam Makhmudov
Sokolov says if representatives of Russia's Federal
Security Service and the Moscow Court had held their tongues and not
leaked classified information, perhaps the killer would not be abroad
but rather sitting in a courtroom.
Sokolov says investigators
have also failed to identify who ordered the murder of Politkovskaya,
who reported extensively on human rights abuses in Chechnya. She was
gunned down in her apartment building in Moscow in October 2006. Her
killing sparked international outrage, but former President Vladimir
Putin downplayed her significance, saying the murder was probably
organized by émigrés seeking to discredit Russia.
Avas Saipov, the father of slain journalist Alisher Saipov - an ethnic
Uzbek in Kyrgyzstan - says investigators have destroyed evidence from
his son's murder in October 2007. The younger Saipov was well-known
throughout Central Asia for his forthright focus on human rights abuses
in Uzbekistan. He was also a stringer for VOA's Uzbek Service.
Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov and his security services are considered prime suspects in the killing.
a letter to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, Avas Saipov alleges that
Uzbek security forces have penetrated law enforcement and the mayor's
office in Osh, the southern Kyrgyz town near the border of Uzbekistan
where his son was shot dead.
Avas Saipov also told the VOA that investigators ignored facts he presented in the case and were careless with the evidence.
elder Saipov says investigators took Alisher's property, such as office
equipment and documents. Some, he says, was returned, some not,
portions were completely destroyed, and the son's office computer was
broken and its parts were replaced.
A spokesman for the Kyrgyz
Interior Ministry told VOA that a newly appointed Interior Minister is
taking an active interest in the journalist's murder, and Avas Saipov
says he believes the investigation could move forward under renewed
President Bakiyev has also paid personal attention
to the Saipov case and the father says his letter could prompt the
Kyrgyz leader to inquire if he had been misinformed about the earlier
status of the investigation.