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Russian Jury Acquits Three in Journalist's Murder


A Russian jury has acquitted three men charged with helping carry out the murder of investigative journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya.

A military court jury determined that prosecutors had failed to prove the three defendants - brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov and former security police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov - had helped organize the October 2006 shooting death of Politkovskaya in her Moscow apartment building.

Prosecutors immediately announced plans to appeal.

An international group that defends the rights of journalists, Reporters Without Borders, said authorities failed to identify either the actual killer or the mastermind of the crime.

A lawyer for Politkovskaya's family, Karina Moskalenko, demanded the arrest of the real murderer. She noted that as time passes, the process will become more difficult.

Relatives and former colleagues insist justice will not be served until the principal suspects face trial.

Colleagues say Politkovskaya's reporting on atrocities in Chechnya angered the Kremlin, while earning her international acclaim.

Some information for this report was provided by AP

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