The Anna Politkovskaya murder trial has opened in Moscow despite a request for a postponement over the alleged poisoning of her family’s lawyer. Three Chechen men are accused of involvement in the gun attack on the journalist, who was fiercely critical of the Kremlin’s policy in Chechnya.
The first hearing took place behind closed doors in a military court because one of the accused is a former policeman. Investigators say another suspect, whom they believe was the gunman in the attack outside Politkovskaya’s Moscow appartment, is on the run.
But the victim’s family has complained the prosecution case does not address the issue of who ordered the killing and why.
Their main legal representative at the trial was unable to attend Wednesday’s hearing because of mercury poisoning. The substance was found in Karina Moskalenko’s car during a visit to the French city of Strasbourg. Police there say they are investigating whether it was a deliberate attempt at poisoning. Moskalenko claims it was an act of intimidation.