Scratch two off the list of suspects in the Anna Politkovskaya’s murder. Yesterday, authorities released Alexei Berkin from police custody for lack of evidence. Prosecutors initially believed that Berkin was in league with the Chechen based Lasagna criminal gang (no really that’s what the article says ‘lasagna” Man, these guys really need to lay off the Italian mob flicks). Berkin couldn’t be reached for comment. His wife told Kommersant that he was out walking the baby. But she told reporters this, “We don’t want to relive this nightmare. He won’t tell you anything because he made a non-disclosure agreement [with the police].” Calls to Berkin’s mobile also went unanswered. Apparently, it is still in police custody.
Prosecutors also discovered that the alibi for another one of its suspects, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, was true. At the time of Politkovskaya’s murder, Khadzhikurbanov was in jail.
Way to go boys. Way to go.
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By Sean — 11 years ago
It’s already falling like a house of cards. Two more suspects in the Politikovskaya murder were taken off the list today. Prosecutors announced that Oleg Alimov, one of the former Moscow police officers, has been freed from custody. Alimov and his three colleagues were suspected of working with former FSB officer Pavel Riaguzov, police Major Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and three Chechen brothers in the murder. However, Kommersant is now reporting that “an integral part of the Prosecutor’s map of the crime fell apart with the suspects Riaguzov and Khadzhikurbanov. The General Prosecutor presented both with charges of abducting people, violating the privacy of homes, and abusing their position and using excessive official authority.” These charges are for crimes the two men committed with their were a spook and a cop in 2002. “I don’t understand on what basis they tried to tie my client to the Politkovskaya murder case,” Riaguzov’s lawyer told Kommersant. “The charges that they presented to Riaguzov have no connection whatsoever to the murder. A direct connection between both cases is found in the minds of the Prosecutors.” We can probably expect the release of more suspects in the coming days.
Russian officials acknowledge that releasing suspects in a normal practice. “An investigation is being conducted and if the charge doesn’t fit, the suspect is freed.” Some feel that there is pressure for the Politkovskaya investigation be quick, leading to mistakes, rush to judgment, and not fully scrutinizing sources and leads. I can buy that. I’ve seen Law and Order.
It all makes you wonder though if Chaika shot his load too early. Or the announcement is merely part of a campaign to let the world know that the Russians are looking. Another possibility is as Iuliya Latynina suggested, and perhaps she is right, that the “shit was beginning to ooze” and the public was going to find out anyway. If that’s the case, the Prosecutor’s Office might have figured they might as well get some propaganda value out of it. Unfortunately for them, the release of more suspects might squander whatever value is left.Post Views: 387
By Sean — 9 years ago
Three years ago, Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in the vestibule of her apartment building as she returned from grocery shopping. She was murdered for her long standing and acclaimed reporting on Chechnya. Three years and no killer has been found. Nor has anyone tied to the crime been convicted. There is not much to say about this case that hasn’t already been said. Human rights groups in and outside Russia have repeatedly called for the Russian government to step up and do something. Commentators, even some as unlikely as Princeton philosopher K. Anthony Appiah, have held the murder up as a testament to the lack of democracy in Russia. Either we are all fooling ourselves in thinking that the Kremlin could actually do something; or all the pleas are falling on deaf ears. Time is probably better spent barking at the moon than trying to penetrate the seemingly sound proof Kremlin walls.
What is clear from some of the reports marking Politkovskaya’s murder is that hope that the killer(s) will be found is quickly fading. And you can’t blame anyone, especially the Politkovskaya family, for the despair. “Our family is starting to lose hope that all those involved in this crime will be found and brought to justice,” Vera Politkovskaya, daughter of Anna Politkovskaya told Russia Today. “Time is passing by and, with it, our chances of finding those responsible.”
Not a single murderer has been brought to justice in the long list of slain Russian journalists. In regard to the Politkovskaya case, the only new information (and I use “new” very liberally since nothing really new has come to light in a long time) is a sick version of Where’s Waldo? As Sergei Sokolov, the editor-in-chief at Novaya gazeta, told the Moscow Times the investigation has turned up “new people whose names haven’t been published” (the Politkovskaya family denies this) and Rustam Makhmudov, the suspected killer, is believed to be country hopping in the European Union. He “could have been arrested in April, but he has managed to disappear again,” says Sokolov. But as to which countries, the Novaya editor doesn’t know or is keeping the information close to the chest. When pressed, he said that he “certainly has some ideas regarding this issue, but wouldn’t disclose them.” It would have been better for him to just say nothing.
In fact, giving vague comments has been a mantra when talking of this case. Who knows that the authorities know. What we do know, we don’t really know. And what we think we know only fuels more speculation about things we don’t, can’t and probably never will know.
There will always be time for barking at the moon. But on this day, perhaps the appropriate action is to remain silent and remember another remarkable figure tragically snuffed out by the nefarious dark forces that operate with impunity in Russia.Post Views: 473
By Sean — 10 years ago
Evgenii Kolesov, one of the jurors in the Politkovskaya murder trial, was on Ekho Moskvy today and said the following about the sudden closing of the trial to the media:
“I can’t say that the initiative originated from us. In no way did any of us demand this,” the juror emphasized. According to him, the court secretary came to the jury room before the trial and asked them to sign a request to conduct the trial without the press, but “yesterday no one signed this request.” Today, the jurors for the Politkovskaya case addressed the court with a request to allow the print media into the trial.
It appears that the plot is thickening.Post Views: 310