From next month, Russia will begin retrying three men previously cleared of involvement in the killing of Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya.
Found not guilty in February, they will face a fresh hearing after the Supreme Court annulled their acquittal amid claims of procedural violations. While none of them was charged with the murder itself, the trio were suspected accomplices in the assassination of the journalist, who was gunned down outside her home in Moscow in 2006. Her family are opposed to a retrial, insisting it will sap resources from efforts to find the mastermind of the killing. Russia is also under mounting international pressure over the murder of Politkovskaya’s close friend, human rights activist Natalia Estemirova. Another establishment critic, she was abducted in Chechnya and her body found in neighbouring Ingushetia. A group of Nobel peace laureates have urged Moscow to find her killers, while the International Federation for Human Rights has denounced what it calls “state terror.”