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World Briefing / Russia

Broader inquiry in journalist death

September 04, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Russia's Supreme Court changed the rules for the investigation into Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya's killing, giving her family a glimmer of hope for justice and testing President Dmitry Medvedev's commitment to judicial reform.

But lawyers and colleagues of Politkovskaya, the investigative reporter gunned down in her Moscow apartment building in 2006, suggested the decision could lead to a dead end unless authorities made a true effort to solve a crime that highlighted the risks for those who challenged the Kremlin.

In a surprise ruling, the Supreme Court's military bench reversed a lower court and granted a request from Politkovskaya's family for a broader investigation.

Her children have criticized the state for focusing on three suspects accused of minor roles in the shooting, saying justice won't be done until the gunman and the mastermind of the slaying are found and punished.

"Whether the prosecutor general's office will use this new opportunity we cannot say," said rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko, who represents Politkovskaya's family. "We can only hope."

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