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Russia prosecutors know identity of Politkovskaya killer: lead investigator

[JURIST] Russian prosecutors know the identity of the person who shot Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya [JURIST news archive], but have yet to arrest or bring charges against the suspect, lead investigator Petros Garibyan said in an interview [text, in Russian] published in Novaya Gazeta Monday. Although a number of people have been arrested and charged [JURIST reports] as accomplices in her murder, none of them are believed to be the organizer or the trigger person. Last month, Russian prosecutors charged [JURIST report] Shamil Burayev, a one-time district head in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya and former presidential candidate, as an accomplice in the murder.

Politkovskaya, who had covered the crisis in Chechnya for Novaya Gazeta since 1999, was shot [JURIST report] in the head and in the chest after returning to her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006. She was a well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website; JURIST news archive], and authored two books on Chechnya. Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika [official website] has said that Politkovskaya's murder was orchestrated by a Moscow-based Chechen criminal group specializing in contract killings. Reuters has more.

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