As prosecutors in Moscow prepare to charge 10 suspects over the murder of a high-profile Russian journalist, there has been a mixed response to the arrests. Investigators say Anna Politkovskaya was targeted by an organised crime group, led by an ethnic Chechen and including current and former security officers.
Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika told President Vladimir Putin he thought there was also a link with the 2004 killing of American journalist, Paul Klebnikov.
Regarding the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, he said: “Our investigation has led us to conclude that only people living abroad could be interested in killing her – those are the forces interested in destabilising the country.”
Politkovskaya was shot dead in the stairwell of her Moscow home on October 7 last year. A fierce critic of the Kremlin, she exposed human rights abuses in Chechnya for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. When she was killed she was working on an article on torture by pro-Russian Chechen security forces.
The deputy editor of the Novya Gazeta, Sergei Sokolov, says he fears that given elections are on the way political groups may be seeking to use the murder for their own ends. And the organisation Journalists Without Borders has expressed fears that the arrests may just be a ploy to defuse pressure on the Kremlin to solve the case.