Russian prosecutors are investigating Chechen police over the murder of Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya, a media watchdog has said.
Anna Politkovskaya investigated rights abuses in Chechnya
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says Russia's foreign ministry informed it about the investigation.
Politkovskaya was an outspoken critic of the war in Chechnya and of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Shot dead on 7 October 2006, she was about to publish an article alleging torture by Chechen security forces.
"The foreign ministry stressed that this is one of several lines of investigation," said Joel Simon, director of the New York-based CPJ.
But a foreign ministry official told the Associated Press news agency that no connection had yet been made between the article and her death.
The official added that the criminal probe had been launched in Chechnya, not Moscow.
Politkovskaya's final article was published a week after her death by her newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.
The CPJ said that since President Putin had come to power there had been 13 contract-style killings of journalists in the country.
Both Mr Putin and the Russian-backed Chechen Prime Minister, Ramzan Kadyrov, have condemned the murder of Politkovskaya.