Politkovskaya judge under scrutiny by Supreme Court

The case of the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya has taken a new twist. Russia's Supreme Court has decided to check whether the judge hearing the case has acted properly.

Despite an earlier decision to hold an open court, the judge Yevgeny Zubov changed his mind and is now holding the trial in camera. Explaining his decision, he said that the jurors refused to enter the courtroom in the presence of reporters.

However, one jury member called a Moscow radio station disputing this, saying that they had made no such demand.

Now Russia's Supreme Court has to decide whether to let the judge continue with the case and find out why it was decided the case would not be open to the public.

Anna Politkovskaya, an analyst at the ultra-liberal Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was killed outside her apartment on October 7, 2006. She was well-known in the West for criticizing the Kremlin.

Four people have appeared in court over the killing, while a fifth suspect – Rustam Makhmudov – is still at large.

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