Ex-Cop Charged in Anti-Putin Journo's Murder

Politkovskaya murder ordered by 'person upset with publications'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2012 1:00 AM CDT
Ex-Cop Charged in Anti-Putin Journo's Murder
Russian human rights activists attend a rally in honour of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow.   (Getty Images)

A fresh arrest has been made in the murder of an outspoken Russian journalist who was gunned down in Moscow nearly six years ago. A former policeman has been charged with helping to organize the murder of 58-year-old Anna Politkovskaya and supplying the gun that was used. When she was killed, Politkovskaya had been probing human rights abuses in Chechnya and high-level corruption, filing some stories heavily criticizing Vladimir Putin; the murder came to symbolize the stifling of free speech during Putin's first two terms as president, Reuters notes.

Four people charged in relation to her murder were acquitted in 2009. Investigators say the ex-cop was one of six people hired to kill Politkovskaya by an "unidentified person upset with publications exposing human rights violations, the stealing of state property, and the overstepping of authority by officials," and he is the final member of the team to be charged. Rights groups welcomed the arrest but expressed doubt that investigators would ever reveal who ordered the murder. (More Russia stories.)

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