Former Officer Detained In Politkovskaya Murder Case

A retired Russian police officer has been detained in Moscow in connection with the 2006 murder of investigative journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya.  

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee said former police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov is accused of organizing the group that carried out the killing and providing the murder weapon.  

The spokesman, Vladimir Markin, said Pavlyuchenkov was paid “by a person whose identity is still unknown.”

Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer for the journalist’s family, spoke of a “turning point” in the investigation.
“We will make sure that all those who were involved in this murder are brought to justice,” she said.

In May, the suspected gunman, Rustam Maskhmudov, was arrested in his native Chechnya.  

His two brothers and another retired police officer were put on trial in 2009 for the murder of Politkovskaya.  

A court acquitted them for a lack of evidence.  However, the country’s Supreme Court threw out that ruling and sent the case back to prosecutors.  

Politkovskaya was killed in her Moscow apartment building as she returned from a grocery store on October 7, 2006.

Politkovskaya had made a name for herself and won several international awards for her reports for the opposition paper “Novaya Gazeta” on violence, police oppression and corruption in Chechnya and high-level corruption across Russia.

Her murder prompted more questions about press freedom in Russia and sparked an international outcry.

Vladimir Putin, president at the time of her murder, said that her influence on Russian political life was “extremely insignificant.”

Supporters of Politkovskaya say that justice will not be served until the person or people behind her murder are identified and brought to trial.

compiled from agency reports

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