Blowing Up Russia: Terrorism From Within
Published on Nov 13, 2012
Documentary film describes the September 1999 Russian apartment bombings as a terrorist act committed by Russian state security services. Written and directed by Yuri Felshtinsky and Alexander Litvinenko. “We just cannot go out and say that the president of Russia is a mass murderer. But it is important that we know it.”
MONDAY, JANUARY 2, 2012
Oct 27 2011, 22:10
Sergey Khadjikurbanov, ex-militiaman, who was repeatedly charged of murdering Anna Politkovskaya, an observer of the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper, rejects his guilt and refuses to testify. This was reported by his lawyer Alexei Mikhalchik.
The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that today Sergey Khadjikurbanov was again charged of organizing the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. “Khadjikurbanov is accused of the crime that, after he had been released from prison on September 22, 2006, he headed an organized criminal grouping in the course of preparation and commitment of Politkovskaya’s murder,” stated Vladimir Markin, the official spokesman of the Investigatory Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF).
Alexei Mikhalchik has confirmed that his client faced a newly-worded indictment. However, according to his story, it hardly differs from the previous one, under which Sergey Khadjikurbanov was acquitted by the jury.
“The charge is not specified; and this impedes the work of the defence,” Mr Mikhalchik has and added that it is not clear from the indictment how Lom-Ali Gaitukaev, another figurant in the case, could communicate with Sergey Khadjikurbanov in organizing the murder, since the latter was in custody at that time.
Murad Musaev, Djabrail Makhmudov’s advocate, also said that his client had faced a newly-formulated indictment. “Its content is the same; however, instead of committing the crime jointly with unidentified persons, investigators name the new detainees Gaitukaev and Pavlyuchenkov,” he has emphasized.
According to Darya Trenina, the advocate of the suspected killer Rustam Makhmudov, her client has not faced his indictment yet, the “RAPSI” (Russian Agency of Legal and Judicial Information) reports.
At the same time, relatives and friends of Anna Politkovskaya do not believe that the ex-militiaman Sergey Khadjikurbanov was the main organizer of her murder.
“Basing on the materials of the case, which was brought to the court two years ago, I have no reason to believe that Sergey Khadjikurbanov is the main organizer,” Ilya, Anna Politkovskaya’s son, said today.
According to his story, “the materials of the case say practically nothing in this regard”, the “Interfax” reports.
See earlier reports: “Court leaves Pavlyuchenkov, accused of murdering Politkovskaya, in custody,” “Presentation of indictment to native of Chechnya Gaitukaev on Politkovskaya’s murder case postponed,” “It is five years since the day of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder today,” “Court upholds arrest of supposed Politkovskaya’s killer.”
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV – The Associated Press
Created: Friday, October 7, 2011 8:12 a.m. CDT
MOSCOW – Russian investigators marked the 5th anniversary of journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s killing today by filing new charges against suspects involved in the slaying, but they have remained silent about who might have ordered her murder.
Politkovskaya, a sharp critic of the Kremlin and its policies in Chechnya, was gunned down in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006. The brutal attack drew worldwide attention to violence against journalists in Russia and caused widespread suspicions of government involvement.
Russia’s top investigative body said it’s filing formal charges today against Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, a native of Chechnya accused of organizing the killing. It said it will also bring new accusations against the suspected triggerman, Rustam Makhmudov and several orther suspects.
Makhmudov’s two brothers and another suspect, former Moscow police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, stood trial on charges of helping stage the killing, but a court found them not guilty in 2009. The Russian Supreme Court overruled the acquittal and has sent the case back to prosecutors. Makhmudov and Gaitukayev – uncle of the Makhmudov brothers – have been detained earlier.
The Investigative Committee said that it will bring new charges today against Khadzhikurbanov and the two Makhmudov brothers, Dzhabrail and Ibragim. Khadzhikurbanov has been in custody, while the two Chechen brothers are free but have been requested not to leave town. The Committee had told the public earlier about the accusations against Gaitukayev and others, and today’s statement was a clear attempt to demonstrate a progress in the case.
The investigators also said that Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who was a senior police offficer at the time of the killing, is accused of tracking down Politkovskaya’s movements to help stage the killing. Pavlyuchenkov, who served as a witness during the abortive first trial, was arrested in August.
Politkovskaya’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper has welcomed the detention of the suspected shooter and other suspects, but lamented a slow progress on finding a person who ordered the killing and described Friday’s step as a mere formality. Politkovskaya’s son, Ilya, also criticized authorities for failing to track down the mastermind.
“Five years after we only have suspects accused of staging the killing,” he said, according to RIA Novosti news agency. “It could have been done much earlier. A lot of time has been lost.”
Politkovskaya was killed on birthday of Vladimir Putin, who was serving his second presidential term at the time, and that helped fuel speculations about possible involvement of authorities angered by Politkovskaya’s exposure of atrocities in Chechnya.
“She was challenging the dominant power of the government with her lonely efforts,” Novaya Gazeta said on its front-page carrying a photo of Politkovskaya.
Putin made his first public remarks on Politkovskaya’s death a few days after, saying that she had little influence and that her slaying did more harm to Russia than her articles did. Putin, who turned 59 today, is now Russia’s prime minister and is all but certain to reclaim presidency in next March’s elections.
Earlier this week, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed allegations of possible government involvement in Politkovskaya’s killing in remarks broadcast by independent TV station Dozhd (Rain). “People, are you crazy to associate this with Putin?” he said.
Politkovskaya’s colleagues marked the anniversary of her death by opening a Facebook account dedicated to her memory, posting her pictures, books and favorite music.
By SETH MYDANS
Published: September 3, 2011
Investigators have charged a former police officer with providing surveillance information and a murder weapon to the killer of the prominent journalist Anna Politkovskaya, whose shooting death in 2006 brought widespread condemnation of violence against journalists in Russia. But like the earlier arrest of a person suspected of being a gunman, the announcement left unanswered the larger question of who ordered the killing of Ms. Politkovskaya, a crusading reporter who had persisted in writing critical articles about the war in Chechnya. The defendant, Dmitri Pavlyuchenkov, a former lieutenant colonel in a police surveillance unit, has denied the accusation.
24 August 2011
Investigators have detained the suspected organizer of the murder of journalistAnna Politkovskayain 2006 — who, it turns out, was a mumbling secret witness for prosecutors at a failed trial into her killing.
Politkovskaya’s family and colleagues welcomed the development but said it should have come years ago. They also voiced fears the suspect, retired senior Moscow police investigator Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, would be made a scapegoat, allowing the still-unidentified mastermind of the killing to evade justice.
Pavlyuchenkov was detained late Tuesday, and a Moscow district court is expected to authorize his arrest Thursday, the Investigative Committee said.
Investigators believe that Pavlyuchenkov arranged the murder of Politkovskaya, a Novaya Gazeta reporter who was shot dead in her apartment building in downtown Moscow, after being contacted by the mastermind, the committee said in astatementWednesday.
The committee did not specify the price of the contract killing but said it “has information about the alleged mastermind of the crime.” No details were available.
The committee said Pavlyuchenkov assembled a team to carry out the killing. Earlier reports said the team comprised three Chechen brothers with the surname Makhmudov — Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail — and a former officer with Moscow police’s anti-mafia department, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov.
Pavlyuchenkov, who served as chief of a Moscow police investigative unit at the time, ordered his police subordinates to trail Politkovskaya to “determine her daily routes around the city,” it said.
He is also suspected of procuring the gun used by the suspected triggerman, Rustam Makhmudov, who spent five years on the run in Europe but was arrested in May upon his return to Chechnya.
The other two Makhmudovs are accused of helping track Politkovskaya, while Khadzhikurbanov is considered a middleman in the case.
The case against the three fell apart when a jury acquitted them in 2009. But the Supreme Court overturned the verdict, prompting a new investigation, which is in progress.
Pavlyuchenkov tried to pin the blame on the team after the killing, testifying against them at the 2009 trial, Novaya GazetasaidWednesday.
He was known as a “secret witness” at the time, speaking to the court from behind closed doors amid fears for his safety. His identity, however, was known to the press from numerous leaks, including by lawyers.
Pavlyuchenkov also implicated Khadzhikurbanov in a separate case, accusing the former officer in 2008 of extorting $350,000 from him, the report said.
Khadzhikurbanov was sentenced to eight years in prison in that case in 2010. Novaya Gazeta speculated that the money might have been payment for Politkovskaya’s killing.
Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer for Politkovskaya’s son and daughter, praised the latest development Wednesday but said “it could have been done years before.”
She said Pavlyuchenkov had cut a suspicious figure back at the 2009 trial. “He was presented as the main witness who could sway the whole jury, but everyone, myself included, was very surprised and disappointed … by his mumbling,” she told The Moscow Times by telephone.
Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, also backed Pavlyuchenkov’s arrest, saying an independent investigation by the paper had linked him to the killing.
“Pavlyuchenkov set up a business under the former police leadership; anyone could book police surveillance for $100 an hour,” Muratov said in an interview with the Kommersant radio station.
Reporters Without Borders welcomed Pavlyuchenkov’s detention as “a major step that is long overdue.”
“We are pleased that after four years of foot-dragging there now seems to be a real determination to press ahead with the investigation,” the group said in an e-mailed statement.
But both Muratov and Stavitskaya remained skeptical about a smattering of reports Wednesday that investigators were closing in on Pavlyuchenkov’s employer.
“As of now, I regard it as a PR stunt by the investigators,” Stavitskaya said. “Let them find and jail [the mastermind]. Then I’ll reconsider.”
Reporters Without Borders voiced worries that the case might not be seen through to the end. “As it advances, the security services will be strongly tempted to restrict blame to a few people who have already been identified and to close the case as soon as possible,” it said, calling for the investigation to press on and expose the mastermind behind the killing.
Politkovskaya, 48, was known for her biting criticism of the Kremlin, including in the Western media, and her investigative reporting on rights abuses in the country, especially in the North Caucasus.
International human rights groups have championed her killing as a prime example of rampant rights abuse in Russia that they say is condoned by the Kremlin.