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28 Aug, 2007 18:16

Politkovskaya's son 'satisfied' with murder investigation

The son of murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya has told RT he's reasonably satisfied with the way the investigation into his mother's killing is being conducted.

For Ilya Politkovsky the last few days have been busy. Since the prosecution announced the new arrests in connection with the killing of his mother, everybody wants to know his reaction. He says the news didn’t come as a surprise.

“I knew about it before, I didn't find out from Chaika's [the Prosecutor General] statement. I knew it would go that way, because the investigators were working on the case, and 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.

On Thursday Anna Politkovskaya would have turned 49. It’ll be the most painful birthday for her family but they now know how to cope.

“My sister successfully gave birth to her daughter, who of course was named Anna. Now she's bringing her up and quite soon we're going to christen her,” the journalist’s son told.  

Meanwhile, the names of ten suspects in Politkovskaya's murder have been leaked to the media. Among them are three brothers of Chechen origin who, according to the prosecution, were members of a criminal group specialising in contract killings. It's a charge one of the men's lawywer strongly denies.

“My client is a lawyer and also has a degree in economics. He is in quite a depressed state, it's the moral state of a person who's been suddenly grabbed on the street, who hasn't even thought he might be behind the bars, especially for a murder, and who is now talked of in the media as if he were a murderer and of course after having been treated like that by the police he is quite upset,” said lawyer Murad Musayev.

Anna Politkovskaya had both Russian and American citizenship. In the United States, where she was born, there's been cautious optimism that the arrests signal real progress in the investigation.

“Americans look sympathetically upon work by Russian investigators to make certain that journalists are safe in Russia in the same way, we hope, that they would be safe in the U.S.,” commented Richard Lugar, U.S. senator.

But at home, some of her former colleagues have criticised the prosecution's statements.

“I think it is a little bit premature. Some questions still remain. It is always so when there is a public statement from the General Prosecutor.  I mean it is quite well-written in the law procedure. We need to wait for a court ruling before the final judgement,” noted Aleksandr Lebedev, owner of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

Novaya Gazeta, where Politkovskaya worked for seven years, has offered a million dollar award for the information leading to the arrest of her killers. But so far the money hasn’t been claimed.

The latest developments in the Politkovskaya case have made it onto the front pages of most of the Russian papers and are likely to stay there for a long time. According to the prosecution, the investigation is still in its early stages and it could be months until those charged with the murder are brought to trial.

“What the Attorney-General suggested is that those behind, those who ordered the killing are outside of the Russian Federation which sounds to me quite logical. Of course the murder of Anna Politkovskaya is of no interest to the Russian government. It caused enormous PR problems to the government of the Russian Federation. In my view the idea that some of the purged oligarchs may have something to do with the murder is quite logical because for those oligarchs who are wanted by Russian justice, who are accused of many crimes inside the country, it is very important to look like they are political figures prosecuted for their political views by the repressive Russian government and they need the proof that Russian government is repressive,” commented Vyacheslav Nikonov, an analyst of Politics Foundation.