Russian daily says Politkovskaya reports spur Chechnya investigation

New York, January 25, 2007—The Chechnya prosecutor’s office is investigating officers of the southern republic’s Interior Ministry in connection with articles by the slain investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, the Moscow business daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The daily quoted Chechnya prosecutor Valery Kuznetsov as saying that Politkovskaya’s accounts of alleged torture last spring prompted his office to begin investigating several Interior Ministry officers. Kuznetsov said his office obtained video from Politkovskaya’s newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, that appeared to show instances of abuse.

The prosecutor did not say whether there is a link between the investigation of the Chechnya police officers and the probe of Politkovskaya’s October 2006 murder. The murder inquiry is under the control of the prosecutor general’s office in Moscow.

Foreign Ministry officials told a CPJ delegation on Monday that the prosecutor general is investigating several police officials in Chechnya who may have killed Politkovskaya because of her reporting on torture allegations. Government officials later disputed CPJ’s account, while acknowledging that several theories were being pursued, including one related to Politkovskaya’s work. CPJ has stood by its initial report.

Earlier: Russian prosecutor eyeing police connection in slaying