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Annulment of not guilty verdict in Politkovskaya case upheld

RIA Novosti

14:41 03/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Supreme Court has ruled legal the annulment of a not guilty verdict in the case of the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a defense lawyer said on Thursday.

In February, a Moscow military court acquitted Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, brothers from Chechnya, and former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov of involvement in the journalist's murder. However, in June Russia's Supreme Court overturned the acquittal and ordered a retrial.

"The court has rejected my appeal in which I asked it to rule the annulment of the acquittal unlawful," Murad Musayev said.

The lawyer said he had drafted an appeal to the Strasbourg Court contesting the annulment. He referred to a violation of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

"When passing judgment, the court cited only prosecutors' arguments, but the arguments of defense lawyers were not cited, even though we had submitted over 30 of them," Musayev said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court upheld the family's appeal to return the Politkovskaya case to prosecutors for a new investigation.

Novaya Gazeta reporter Politkovskaya, who gained international recognition for her reporting of atrocities against civilians in the troubled North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, was gunned down in an elevator in her Moscow apartment building in October 2006, in what police described as a contract killing.


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