News / Europe

5 Go on Trial for Murder of Anna Politkovskaya

Children of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, Vera (L) and Ilya look on before a court hearing in Moscow, June 3, 2013. Politkovskaya was assassinated in October 2006. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (RUSSIA - Tags: CRIME LAW MEDIA)
Children of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, Vera (L) and Ilya look on before a court hearing in Moscow, June 3, 2013. Politkovskaya was assassinated in October 2006. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (RUSSIA - Tags: CRIME LAW MEDIA)
The children of slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya say they will not attend what they called the "illegitimate" trial of five men charged with killing their mother in 2006. Politkovskaya's reporting was critical of the Russian government, and many believe she was killed because of her reporting.

More than six years after Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in the lobby of her apartment building, five men are going on trial for her murder, some of them for the second time.

In a statement, Politkovskaya’s children, Ilya and Vera, said they had asked a judge to postpone the trial because they could not attend.  They say the judge refused.  The children then called on the jurors to recuse themselves from the trial to avoid being drawn into what they called a farce.

Chechen Rustam Makhmudov is charged with killing Politkovskaya.  His two brothers and his uncle are also accused of being involved in her death, along with an ex-policeman.

In 2009 a Moscow court acquitted three of the same defendants, but Russia’s Supreme Court threw out that verdict and sent the case back to the prosecution.

The 54-year-old journalist was shot at close range in the chest, head and shoulder on October 7, 2006, in Moscow.  At the time of her death, Politkovskaya had been investigating corruption across Russia and human-rights abuses in Chechnya.

Russia has fought two bloody separatist wars in Chechnya, where insurgents want to create an Islamist state.  There are near daily attacks on police and government officials in the area.  Some analysts blame the violence on the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent.

Politkovskaya was a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, who was president during the conflicts.

Novaya Gazeta spokeswoman Nadezhda Prusenkova says she thinks the trial’s timing is not coincidental and worries about its validity.

She says journalists are concerned the authorities want to end this trial just in time for another anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya's death.  She says she does not think it is right, both from the standpoint of the law and from the standpoint of fairness and conscience.

Prusenkova says she has no doubt the accused are connected with Politkovskaya’s death, but she believes whoever ordered the killing will never face justice.

​Last December, a former policeman was sentenced to 11 years in prison after agreeing to a plea bargain in connection with the killing.  Politkovskaya supporters believe more could have been done to obtain information from the officer.

The Kremlin has consistently maintained it is doing everything necessary to bring Politkovskaya’s killer to justice.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More