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Russia releases two suspects in Politkovskaya killing

[JURIST] Russian prosecutors have released two of the 10 suspects who were arrested [JURIST report] Monday in connection with last October's killing [JURIST report] of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], and a third person is no longer under investigation. Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika [official website, in Russian] announced that five of the suspects were police officers and are thought to have followed Politkovskaya and reported on her whereabouts to her actual killers. The killers are thought to be members of a Chechen crime group located in Moscow. Earlier this week, a defense lawyer told the media that charges have been brought against at least four suspects [JURIST report].

Politkovskaya, who had covered the crisis in Chechnya [BBC Q&ampA] for Novaya Gazeta [media website, in Russian] since 1999, was shot in the head and in the chest after returning to her Moscow apartment building last year. Politkovskaya was a well known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and authored two books on Chechnya. Immediately following Politkovskaya's death, Putin suggested that the murder was an outside plot to damage Putin's reputation. AP has more. RIA Novosti has local coverage.

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