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ASSASSINATION OF ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA: TRIAL IS OVER, NOBODY ANY WISER

Investigation of Anna Politkovskaya’s assassination: back to square one.


The trial began on November 19 and ended on February 19.

Three months of hopes ended in absolute frustration. It’s over now, with nobody being any wiser. Who murdered Anna Politkovskaya? What for?

Monitoring coverage of the trial in the media, I couldn’t help entertaining doubts concerning suspects’ guilt. Neither could the jury, it seems.

All testimony the prosecution presented was circumstantial. Nothing direct or irrefutable. Is it any wonder that the jury acquitted all suspects?

Several people involved in the case of Politkovskaya’s assassination were Federal Security Service informers, a nuance that enabled the FSB to classify a great deal of materials of the investigation.

Even if the investigation had compiled genuinely adequate and convincing evidence, general public was never informed of it. The trial therefore left a bizarre impression.

Not that the Investigative Committee has been idle. Its investigators appear to have come up with something. They appear to have come real close to assassins…

When the investigation was in its active phase two years ago, Novaya Gazeta Chief Editor Dmitry Muratov said he liked the way investigators were going about it. He said he thought them on the correct track then. What happened? Have investigators lost this correct track? Have they been asked to lose it, made an offer they perhaps couldn’t turn down?

As with investigation of assassinations of Kholodov, Khlebnikov, and very many others, law enforcement agencies proved themselves sloppy. Why is that? Do they lack professionalism? Are they ordered to shove their professionalism?

Trust the prosecutor’s office to pin the blame on the jury now, claiming that they lack judicial education and so on. But the jury are not required to have judicial education. It is common sense that it required of them. It is from this position that they judge and rule. If the work of the investigation fails to impress them, then the investigation must have been delinquent.

And that’s precisely what the investigation has been. The prosecution was supposed to turn up in the courtroom with the whole works: this is who the journalist crossed, this is why she was earmarked for assassination, this man here organized it, and this one is the assassin.

The prosecution turned up with nothing of the sort.

Investigation of Politkovskaya’s assassination is as mysterious as the assassination itself.

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