The trial has opened in Moscow of four men charged with involvement in the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
The court ruled this morning it would be open to the public.
None of the men are directly accused of Politkovskaya’s murder.
Two of them are Chechens facing charges of spying on Politkovskaya, along with a third man, a former Russian police officer. The fourth is a member of the Russian secret services, the FSB, who is suspected of transmitting her address to the killers.
Defence lawyer Murad Musayev said he doesn’t believe they will receive a fair trial:
“We want the whole world to see how disgracefully the prosecution has been carried out. There is no point in this trial. The very fact that the defendants have been put on trial amounts to calling them guilty,” he said.
Politkovskaya, who denounced what she called the Russian army’s human rights abuses during the war in Chechnya, was shot dead outside her Moscow apartment in October 2006.
Her family and friends have denounced the trial as a “farce”, as neither the man believed to have pulled the trigger nor those responsible for ordering her killing have been caught.
According to a US-based committee for the protection of journalists, Politkovskaya was the 13th journalist to be killed in a contract-style killing in Russia under Vladimir Putin’s presidency.