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Politkovskaya remembered on birthday

Reports are coming in that two people arrested on suspicion of being involved in the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya have been released. Russia's General Prosecutor's Office has yet to confirm the information. Politkovskaya, who was sh

Anna Politkovskaya, who started writing for the Russian liberal paper, Novoya Gazeta, in June, 1999 when she was 40, will always be remembered for her hard news stories, investigative journalism, hundreds of articles on the Chechen conflict and corruption in the Russian government.

Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead when she was returning to her apartment block in central Moscow on October 7, 2006. The killer was waiting near the elevator on the first floor.

Now the Russian prosecutors say they have arrested 10 people responsible for the journalist’s death.

“The murder was carefully planned.There were two surveillance groups. At the head of all this was the leader of a Moscow criminal group, a Chechen resident, engaged in criminal activity and specialising in contract killings. According to evidence uncovered, the group organised several contract killings not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine and Latvia. Unfortunately, former and current employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as a member of the Federal Security Service were also involved in the tracking and the supplying of information about Anna Politkovskaya. They have also been arrested,” stated Yury Chaika, Russia`s Prosecutor General.

The Prosecutor General also said Politkovskaya knew the person who ordered the killing and hinted that that person might be now outside the country.

Almost a year on from the murder, Politkovskaya’s family members are closely following  the course of investigation.

Ilya Politkovsky
Ilya Politkovsky
“I knew about it before. I didn't find out from Chaika's statement. I knew it would go that way, because the investigators were working on the case. I also knew that some arrests had taken place before, and that there would be more of them. In general I’m satisfied with the way the investigation is going,” Ilya Politkovsky said.

Born in the U.S., Politkovskaya, was a highly respected journalist both in Russia and abroad. Her reports from Chechnya put her in conflict with Russian authorities, but won her numerous international awards.

She was also known as a harsh critic of President Putin’s administration.

Now there are concerns that the murder case is being used for political purposes.

“We are concerned that in an election year this crime may be used by different groups for their own aims. That, unfortunately, is our Russian illness and the way things work here,” commented Sergei Sokolov, Deputy Chief Editor of Novaya Gazeta.

The Novaya Gazeta newspaper, where Anna Politkovskaya worked as a political analyst, published an article on Thursday, analyzing the latest developments in the case.

The headline reads: 'Politcovskays's case: The open house", claiming that after the firts arrests in connection with the murder, the secret of investigation was revealed.

Novya gazeta says that the case is far from the moment, when it could be closed but, according to the newspaper, after General Prosecutor's official statement a mass leack of information to the media has begun.

And this could seriously comlicate the task of finishing the investigation.

The prosecutors say the investigation is still in its early stages.

It might take months before those charged with the murder are brought to trial.