Skip to comments.Anna Politkovskaya Arrests Add To Russia Row
Posted on 08/27/2007 3:34:26 PM PDT by blam
Anna Politkovskaya arrests add to Russia row
By Duncan Gardham and Helen Womack in Moscow
Last Updated: 11:03pm BST 27/08/2007
Russian authorities have hinted that Boris Berezovsky, a leading critic of President Vladimir Putin who lives in London, was behind the murder of an investigative journalist in Moscow.
Journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered October last year
Anna Politkovskaya, who was investigating human rights abuses by the Russians in Chechnya, was shot in the lift of her apartment block on Oct 7 last year. Her death - the 13th murder of a journalist in Russia under Mr Putin's rule - provoked outrage.
Russia's prosecutor-general announced that 10 serving and retired police and security service officers had been arrested in connection with the death but insisted that they were acting under someone else's orders.
When asked by Russian journalists if he believed that Mr Berezovsky, a former oil tycoon, was behind the murder, he smiled and said: "Our investigation has led us to conclude that only people living abroad could be interested in killing Politkovskaya.
"Forces interested in de-stabilising the country, in stoking crisis, in a return to the old system where money and oligarchs ruled, in discrediting national leadership, provoking external pressure on the country, could be interested in this crime.
"Anna Politkovskaya knew who ordered her killing. She met him more than once."
The thinly veiled accusation will raise the pressure on Mr Berezovsky, who met Miss Politkovskaya several times and has made no secret of his wish to overthrow Mr Putin.
It will also worsen relations with London, which expelled four Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to extradite the chief suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB agent, in London last year.
Mr Chaika said the murder was carried out by a Chechen who led an organised crime gang in Moscow that specialised in contract killings. He said those arrested were accused of helping track Politkovskaya and providing her killers with information.
He said those to be charged with involvement in the killing also had a hand in the unsolved murders of Paul Klebnikov, an American journalist, in 2004 and Andrei Kozlov, the Central Bank deputy chief, last year.
Alex Goldfarb, who runs Mr Berezovsky's International Foundation for Civil Liberties, suggested that the move was a sign that Mr Putin was keen to tie up loose ends before presidential elections next year in which he is barred from standing for a third term.
"It was Putin who first launched this line [that Berezovsky was to blame] and now the prosecutor has developed the presidential hunch into a concrete charge," he said.
I think Putin did it.
Why dont they charge 20 so that there is no chance of finding the real killer.