Justice long overdue in Anna Politkovskaya murder

New York, October 5, 2012 – As the sixth anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s brutal murder nears, the Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the complete absence of justice in her killing despite government pledges to solve the crime.

“Six years on, a bungled investigation and legal process have left Politkovskaya’s true killers free, reinforcing the notion that in Russia, killing journalists is a crime met with impunity,” said Nina Ognianova, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator. “It is time for Russian authorities to solve a case that has become an international symbol in the struggle against impunity and to guarantee a transparent, open trial for a key defendant due to face court.”

Anna Politkovskaya was killed by a hitman on October 7, 2006, in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building. Several defendants were tried and acquitted in the killing in 2009, and Russian authorities insist they are still conducting a thorough second investigation. However, after indicting a retired police lieutenant colonel on charges of complicity in the murder, investigators made a deal with the suspect, under which he would reveal the masterminds of the slaying and be tried behind closed doors. A lawyer for the Politkovskaya family told CPJ today that a formal objection to the suspect’s deal will be filed.