Russia charges alleged organizer of Politkovskaya murder | News | DW | 16.07.2012
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Russia charges alleged organizer of Politkovskaya murder

Russian authorities have charged a retired policeman with helping to organize the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. But police still have no clear picture of who was ultimately behind the killing.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who was a lieutenant colonel at the time of the killing, has been formally charged with helping to organize the murder 11 months after his arrest, according to the spokesman of the investigative committee, Vladimir Markin.

Investigators said earlier that Pavlyuchenkov tracked down Anna Politkovskaya movements to help the alleged assassin.

"Between July and September 2000, Pavlyuchenkov established the victim's place of residence, the route she takes and reported this information to other members of the organised crime group," the committee said in a statement. "Moreover, he obtained the weapon and ammunition that were later used in the killing," the statement added.

Slow investigation

Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist known to be critical of the Kremlin, was shot in the lift of her Moscow apartment building. The assailant, who had been waiting for her, fled the scene and was only partially filmed by CCTV.

Police have already charged six men in connection with the case but admitted on Monday that they still do not know who the mastermind behind the operation was. Russia has been criticized by human rights for the slow investigation, which they say hides the state's refusal to prosecute high-ranking officials that are rumored to be involved.

The Novaya Gazeta paper which she worked for believes her murder was ordered by people close to Ramzan Kadyrov - the strongman leader of Chechnya who she was investigating for torturing.

ng/mz (AP; AFP)