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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Chechens deplore reporter's death
Novaya Gazeta's online edition on 9 October
Politkovskaya's death dominated her paper on Monday
Chechnya's pro-Moscow leaders have condemned the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in a lift in Moscow.

Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said that although he did not share many of her views, he sent his condolences to her friends and family.

Ms Politkovskaya was a fierce critic of the Kremlin's actions in Chechnya.

Her newspaper is offering a $1m (534,000) reward to solve the crime.

Russia's top prosecutor is personally leading the official investigation.

While there is a Novaya Gazeta, her killers will not sleep easy
Novaya Gazeta

Ms Politkovskaya is due to be buried in Moscow on Tuesday.

She was found shot dead on Saturday in a lift at her block of flats. Grainy CCTV footage shows a man in a baseball cap following her inside just before the shooting.

Police sources quoted by Russian media say Ms Politkovskaya was shot three times in the body and once in the head.

A pistol and four cartridges were reportedly found near her body.

One Russian media report suggests the pistol was not a Makarov, as first reported, but a smaller Russian handgun, the Izh, fitted with a silencer.

The newspaper, Kommersant, also reports that CCTV footage from a supermarket suggests the killer and a female accomplice had been following the journalist.

'Unworthy rumours'

There has been no official comment on the murder from the Kremlin.

SUSPECTED CONTRACT KILLINGS
Anna Politkovskaya
October 2006 - campaigning Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead in Moscow
Sept 2006 - first deputy chairman of Russia's central bank Andrei Kozlov shot dead in Moscow
Oct 2005 - former bank head Alexander Slesarev gunned down near Moscow
July 2004 - US editor of Forbes' Russian edition Paul Klebnikov shot dead in Moscow
Oct 2002 - Magadan governor Valentin Tsvetkov killed in Moscow
Nov 1998 - liberal MP Galina Starovoitova killed in St Petersburg
March 1995 - leading journalist Vladislav Listyev shot dead in Moscow

The BBC's Emma Simpson reports from Moscow that Ms Politkovskaya's fellow journalists believe her murder has dealt a severe blow to what remains of press freedom in Russia.

Mr Kadyrov said he was shocked by the murder which was "an impediment to freedom of speech".

"Although Politkovskaya's writings about Chechnya were not objective at times, I sincerely feel sorry for the journalist," he said, sending his condolences to her family and friends.

Chechen forces loyal to Mr Kadyrov have been accused of widespread human rights abuses in the North Caucasus region and Politkovskaya condemned them in her last article published while she was alive.

Mr Kadyrov rejected claims of Chechen involvement in the murder as "presumptions not based on serious evidence... and unworthy of the press and politicians".

Chechnya's pro-Moscow President, Alu Alkhanov, also sent condolences, adding:

"We had totally different views of the Chechen processes but Politkovskaya cared about the Chechen people."

'Public resonance'

A shareholder in Ms Politkovskaya's newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, is offering the reward for information.

In its special edition on Monday, the paper pledges on the front page that: "While there is a Novaya Gazeta, her killers will not sleep easy."

Russia's official investigation is focusing on her investigative reporting as a possible motive for the crime.

Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika took personal charge of the investigation in view of the "public importance and resonance of the crime", his office said.

Hundreds of people gathered in central Moscow on Sunday to pay tribute to Ms Politkovskaya, lighting candles and laying flowers.

They held posters describing the killing of the 48-year-old mother-of-two as politically motivated.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Security footage of the man police are hunting



SEE ALSO
Obituary: Anna Politkovskaya
07 Oct 06 |  Europe
The hitmen who stalk Russia
08 Oct 06 |  Europe

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