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Russian Politkovskaya murder probe focuses on former police officers

[JURIST] Russian officials investigating the October 7 death of reporter Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary] are focusing their probe on former police officers who Politkovskaya linked to the killing and torture of Chechen civilians, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Wednesday. According to the article, investigators followed up on sightings of two former police officers linked to the abuses, including Sergei Lapin, who had been accused in 2001 of threatening Politkovskaya via e-mail, in a Siberian region 1,200 miles east of Moscow called Khanty-Mansiisk. No official comment has yet been released by the Russian Prosecutor General's office [official website, in Russian].

Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika took over the investigation [JURIST report] into Politkovskaya's murder shortly after her death. Last week, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso [official website] urged [JURIST report] Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring justice to those responsible for Politkovskaya's death. Shortly after Politkovskaya, President Bush called [JURIST report] for the Russian government "to conduct a vigorous and thorough investigation to bring to justice those responsible." AP has more.

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