Lawyer Suspects Poisoning Ahead of Politkovskaya Murder Trial | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 15.10.2008
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Lawyer Suspects Poisoning Ahead of Politkovskaya Murder Trial

French officials have opened an inquiry into claims that prominent Russian human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko may have been poisoned.

Demonstrators hold a photo of Anna Politkovskaya during a rally on Pushkin square in downtown Moscow

Moskalenko represents the family of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya

Moskalenko says she and her children are ill after a suspicious substance was found in their car in Strasbourg, France. Her headaches, nausea and watering eyes have kept her away from preliminary hearings on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at a Moscow court in the trial of four men connected with the 2006 murder of journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya.

Moskalenko is probably Russia's best known human rights lawyer. She represents Politkovskaya's family, as well as the imprisoned former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. She also represents Russians pressing claims against the government at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Moskalenko told Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio station that her husband found a large amount of a mercury-like liquid in the car they use in Strasbourg, where she now lives.

French authorities say they are taking her complaint very seriously.

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