[JURIST] Investigators from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office [official website, English version] have completed their investigation into the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], Russian news agencies reported Thursday. Three men, Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, and brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, all from Chechnya [JURIST news archive], were arrested last August [JURIST report] in connection with the inquiry into Politkovskaya's murder. The main suspect, Rustam Makhmudov, also from Chechnya, has yet to be captured but Russian authorities have said he is hiding in Western Europe. In May, Makhmudov was charged in absentia [Moscow News report] and an international warrant for his arrest was issued. At this point it was not known which court will hear the case against him. AP has more. The Moscow Times has local coverage.
Politkovskaya wrote for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta [media website, in Russian], and had reported extensively on the conflict between the Russian army and separatist forces in Chechnya beginning in 1999. She was shot [JURIST report] in the head and chest after returning to her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006. She was a well-known critic of then Russian President Vladimir Putin [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.