Russia Court Acquits Accused In Politkovskaya Murder
A Russian court has handed down not guilty verdicts on all three men accused of helping murder Anna Politkovskaya, a Kremlin critic and investigative journalist, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
The jury said it found that brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov were not guilty of acting as accomplices in the murder and former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov was not guilty of organizing the crime, said a Reuters reporter in the courtroom.
The three were charged with murder and could have been imprisoned for life if convicted.
The not-guilty verdicts are an embarrassing defeat for prosecutors in a trial compromised from the start by the absence of the suspected gunman and any alleged mastermind.
Politkovskaya's probes into atrocities in Chechnya and abuses by Russian authorities angered the Kremlin.
Her killing underscored the risks run by journalists and government critics in Russia.