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Politkovskaya murder aimed at destabilising situation in Russia: Prosecutor General

Ten people have been arrested in connection with the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, including her suspected murderer. The details were announced by Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.

The group may also be linked to the 2004 murder of Paul Klebnikov, the editor of Russia's Forbes magazine – this version and other details were announced at a meeting in the Kremlin.

Regarding the motives of the murder, we can say that the results of the investigation show that this murder was profitable only to those who live outside the Russian Federation. First of all these are people who seek to destabilise the situation in the country, to change the constitutional order, to force a crisis upon the country. These people want to return to the previous system of governing, when money and oligarchs decided everything. They seek to discredit the leaders of Russia and provoke outside involvement in the governing of our country,

Yury Chaika, Russia's Prosecutor General

Anna Politkovskaya’s murder has been seen as a political case, if not in its motive then at least in the reaction it provoked. Ms Politkovskaya was gunned down on October 7, 2006, the same day Vladimir Putin celebrated his birthday. For some it was more than just a coincidence, a view which seems to be supported by that of the prosecution. 

The prosecution believes the person behind the murder is hiding abroad and journalists wasted no time in putting a name forward, asking whether or not Berezovsky was believed to be involved in Politkovsky's murder.

“This is the most concise question. Once again we are examining each version,” Russia's Prosecutor General answered.
Still, the prosecution insists they already know how the crime was carried out. They say the murder was carefully planned, with two surveillance groups watching Anna Politkovskaya’s movements up until her last moments.

She was shot 4 times. A CCTV video showed a man entering the apartment building and then walking out at about the time the journalist was murdered. Her killing has provoked many theories, most of them focusing on revenge. She wrote extensively about abuses in Chechnya, which earned her many enemies.

Now the prosecution says the gang suspected of carrying out the journalist’s murder was headed by a Chechen resident. Among its alleged members were former and current employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as a member of the Federal Security Service.

“On August 21 the General Prosecutor’s Office arrested and detained a staff member of the Central Administrative District Security Services of Moscow and Moscow region named Lieutenant-Colonel Pavel Ryaguzov. The General prosecution suspects him of illegal actions in the case of Anna Politkovskaya. The FSB special security services were watching Lieutenant-Colonel Ryaguzov because of  information received  regarding his possible involvement in a criminal group and participation in blackmail and actions that went beyond his powers,” Aleksandr Kupryazhkin from the Federal Security Service stated.

At Novaya Gazata, where Anna Politovksaya worked for seven years, her desk still remains untouched. For her colleagues, any progress in the case is more than welcome, but the latest revelations left them uneasy. 

“This statement by the Prosecutor General is premature and a mistake. I do not know whether Berezovsky or Gusinsky have anything to do with this case. They may be involved as anybody else may. But you have to have proof to say that, and there is none. This is called political PR,” Sergey Sokolov, deputy editor of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper commented.

The prosecution believes the gang might have also been involved in the killing of Paul Klebnikov, the editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine.

The killing of a well-known journalist would be a prime topic for Anna Politkovskaya’s story. Politics, corruption, abuse – this case features everything she reported on. Also while her investigative work resulted in dozens of criminal cases, the final investigation into her murder is still far from being over.