Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And again

The writer, journalist and human rights campaigner was murdered in the hallway of her Moscow apartment house in 2006. In 2009 three men were put on trial for the murder and were acquitted, which, as I wrote at the time, was not altogether surprising.
The man who is supposed to have done the actual killing, Rustam Makhmudov, was not on trial as he is supposed to be hiding somewhere in Western Europe. Neither was anybody who was accused of organizing or commissioning the killing.
Makhmudov's two brothers, Dzhabrail and Ibragim, were accused of involvement and found not guilty to their and their supporers' understandably delight. Others found not guilty were former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and former FSB officer Pavel Ryaguzov who had been up on an extortion charge related to the case.
At the time it seemed unlikely that the case would ever be solved. It still seems a little unlikely but, as RFE/RL reports, five people have now been charged with murder and illegal arms dealing. The names seem oddly familiar:
The Russian Investigation Committee said in an October 16 statement that it "has completed the investigation against five defendants -- brothers Rustam, Ibragim, and Dzhabrail Makhmudov, and Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and Lom-Ali Gaitukayev."
AP gives a few more details:
Russia's Investigative Committee said it has completed a probe of the suspected triggerman, Rustam Makhmudov, and four others. No date for the trial has been set.
Makhmudov's two brothers and a Moscow police officer have already stood trial, charged with helping stage the killing. But a court acquitted them in 2009. Russia's Supreme Court overruled the acquittal and sent the case back to investigators.
Authorities have since arrested Makmudov and his uncle, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, who is accused of organizing the killing. The Moscow police officer who faced the initial trial, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, is still in custody, while the two Makhmudov brothers, Dzhabrail and Ibragim, have been ordered to remain in Moscow pending a new trial.
The committee said it will still try to find out who ordered the murder and look for others who might have been involved.
I wonder if they are serious about finding out who ordered the murder. If so, I wish them luck.

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