Reporters urge authorities to find person behind colleague’s murder on 10th anniversary of killing

The memorial plaque for journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been unveiled on the facade of Novaya Gazeta office in Moscow. © Maksim Blinov
Journalists at the Russian daily Novaya Gazeta have called on authorities to find and punish those who ordered the murder of reporter Anna Politkovskaya 10 years ago.

In a video published on Novaya Gazeta’s web-site on Friday, 53 reporters pose with a slogan reading “The one who ordered the murder has still not been found.” There are also tables containing various materials concerning the killing.

READ MORE: Politkovskaya case: What was left behind after court verdict

In an article dedicated to the anniversary of Politkovskaya’s death, the newspaper’s deputy chief editor, Sergey Sokolov, wrote that the reporters suspect that those who ordered the Politkovskaya’s killing could have been behind many more crimes, including murders. He also accused the police of “lying about the fact that the case has been solved.” “A political murder cannot be considered solved only because the actual perpetrators had been convicted. It is impossible before those who ordered it are punished,” Sokolov wrote.

In a lengthy and emotional article, he criticized the investigators’ initial approach to the probe and the various theories they had. He said that, while he did not doubt that the three people convicted and sentenced for carrying out the hit were actually those responsible, many more people could have been involved.

Reporter Anna Politkovskaya worked for the opposition-minded newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, specializing in human rights issues in Chechnya before she was shot dead at the entrance of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.

In June of 2014, after lengthy and complicated legal proceedings, the Moscow City Court convicted five Chechen men – Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail Mahmudovs, all brothers; their uncle, Lom-Ali Gaytukayev; and Sergey Khadjikurbanov, an ex-police officer – of organizing and carrying out the murder, as well as illegal possession and trafficking of firearms. Rustam Makhmudov was named the actual killer.

Rustam Makhmudov and Lom-Ali Gaytukayev were sentenced to life in prison and the rest were sentenced to 20, 15 and 13 years.

However, none of the convicts have pleaded guilty. Rustam Mahmudov has claimed that neither he, nor his brothers were complicit in the murder, while Khadjikurbanov has asserted that he was slandered by another figure in the case, ex-police colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who had struck a deal with the investigation earlier.

READ MORE: Politkovskaya killer suspect delivered guilty verdict by jury

Pavlyuchenkov, who was initially suspected of organizing the murder, was sentenced to 11 years in prison and also obliged to pay nearly $100,000 in damages to Politkovskaya’s family.