Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 11:13 UK

Politkovskaya murder charges laid

Anna Politkovskaya (file image)
Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead on her doorstep

Three men have been charged over the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, investigators have said.

Politkovskaya, a prominent Kremlin critic, was shot dead outside her home in the capital on 7 October 2006.

Russia's Investigative Committee said a fourth man, an officer with the country's security service, had also been charged with abuse of office.

Last month officials also named the man suspected of firing the gun as Rustam Makhmudov. He remains at large.

The three men charged over the murder, who all come from Chechnya, are Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, and Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov.

Case continues

The committee did not say what the motive was for Politkovskaya's killing, or specify the suspects' roles in the murder.

Politkovskaya frequently travelled to Chechnya and the North Caucasus where her dispatches described some of the horror of a war where most of the casualties were civilians.

The murder of Politkovskaya, who wrote for the small-circulation Novaya Gazeta, shocked the international community but did not register widely in Russia.

Human rights groups accused the Russian authorities of failing to protect journalists.

Her former colleagues said the case was not yet solved.

"I have said many times that this is only the first part of the case," said Sergei Sokolov, the investigative newspaper's deputy editor.

"It's not over yet, there will be a second and a third part."

Charges against a fifth man, a Chechen local government official who allegedly provided the address of Anna Politkovskaya, have been dropped due to a lack of evidence.

New team for Politkovskaya case
04 Sep 07 |  Europe
Obituary: Anna Politkovskaya
07 Oct 06 |  Europe
Chechen war reporter found dead
21 Jun 08 |  Europe

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