Chechen police investigated in journalist deathPosted Feb 25 2007
The Committee to Protect Journalists has announced that some Chechen police are being investigated for a possible role in the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the Novaya Gazeta reporter killed in her apartment in October 2006. According to the Associated Press, a Foreign Ministry official told CPJ on Monday that the Prosecutor General's Office had opened a criminal investigation into several police officials in the region because Politkovskaya was on the verge of printing an article asserting their involvement in torturing people in custody. An official at the Foreign Ministry, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, said that prosecutors in Chechnya had opened the criminal probe. According to the official there has been no connection made between the article and Politkovskaya’s death. The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement that said CPJ’s announcement “did not correspond with the facts.” Denying that the Chechen police officials had been involved in Politkovskaya’s death, pro-Kremlin Chechen premier Ramzan Kadyrov told Interfax, “Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist, a person in a peaceful profession, and Chechen policemen are not fighting peaceful people. Their goal is to fight terrorists.” Kadyrov, who has commanded paramilitary formation of former rebels, has been targeted by some of Politkovskaya’s supporters as a possible suspect in her death. She had published numerous articles about him and his forces, but he has denied committing any crimes. According to The New York Times, 13 Russian journalists have been killed in “contract-style killings” since 2006, which ranks Russia as the third-most-deadly country for journalists after Iraq and Algeria.
On the web: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/24/world/europe/24russia.html?_r=1&oref=slogin