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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:25 AM

2006 killing of reporter who was critic of the Kremlin was "meant as a message".

Russian Reporter’s Murder Was Meant as a Message, Investigator Says

Demonstrators marked the sixth anniversary of the death of Anna Politkovskaya, in Moscow on Oct. 7.

The motive behind the 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a veteran reporter who was an unstinting critic of the Kremlin and its policies in Chechnya, was to instill fear in the country’s journalists, a top criminal investigator said in an interview published Friday. It was a bleak assessment of a case that remains unsolved six years after Ms. Politkovskaya was shot at point-blank range as she arrived home from grocery shopping.

“I believe the person who ordered this pursued not only retaliation against Anna Politkovskaya for critical publications,” Petros V. Garibyan, who headed the investigation, told the daily newspaper Kommersant. Referring to the killer, Mr. Garibyan said, “First and foremost, he sought a demonstrative and resonant act aimed at intimidating all of you — journalists — as well as society and the authorities.”

The official investigation into the murder was closed last month without identifying the person who ordered the killing ...

Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a rights organization, was not optimistic about the prospect of a breakthrough. Mr. Garibyan’s interview, she told Ekho Moskvy, “shows that, as in all such cases, the investigation finds itself facing a solid wall that conceals the person who ordered this.”


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