Murder of Russian journalist remembered

Open trial of suspects sought

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 22:59:00 10/07/2008

MOSCOW — Kremlin critics rallied in Moscow on Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of the death of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya and to demand an open trial of the murder suspects.

Some 200 people gathered under heavy rain on a central Moscow square to mourn Politkovskaya, who exposed human rights violations in Chechnya and was gunned down outside her Moscow apartment on October 7, 2006.

Speakers pressed authorities for the trial — due to begin October 15 in a Moscow military court — to be opened to the public.

Campaigners have complained of a lack of transparency around the trial, in which one defendant, a former secret service agent, is to be tried on charges not directly related to the Politkovskaya case.

“The trial of the killers must be open,” Dmitry Muratov, editor of Novaya Gazeta, Politkovskaya’s newspaper, told protestors, many of whom held red carnations and portraits of the slain journalist along with umbrellas.

“As long as the killer and the mastermind remain free, the case is not closed,” he added.

Other speakers, including former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, linked Politkovskaya’s death to shadowy forces in the Russian government angered by her reporting on the war in Chechnya.

“They fear freedom. They fear the truth. They fear everything that Anna Politkovskaya did and stood for,” said Kasparov, one of the leaders of a fractured political opposition that made a rare display of unity on the anniversary.

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