Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

All the Suspected Killers of Politkovskaya Found Not Guilty

with 6 comments

The jury acquitted all three men of involvement in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Frankly, I was shocked to hear that news: this is a very unusual thing to happen in Russian courts and it’s yet more surprising since the investigation had been thought to be thorough.

Most probably, the detectives and prosecutors are to blame for this failure. The case was prepared badly by them and they had probably expected to manipulate the jury, as it is normally done at other trials. This may also be the reason for the judge’s attempt to close the process from the public.

Prosecutors will appeal and it’s still likely that the defendants will be punished at the end. But this jury’s verdict shows that the authorities show little capacity or will to find the murderers of Anna Politkovskaya.

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

February 20, 2009 at 00:47

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

6 Responses

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  1. Even if they had been convicted, their ranks did not include either the person who pulled the trigger or the person who ordered the attack, so the convictions would still have meant nothing.

    Meanwhile, isn’t it possible that the Kremlin never intended for there to be a conviction, but only a show trial to deflect criticism for failing to solve the crime? If we blame prosecutors and judges, don’t we spare the Kremlin itself?

    larussophobe

    February 21, 2009 at 04:12

  2. I don’t think Kremlin really wanted such a verdict. On the contrary, their interest was to convict some little fishes and say, “The killers are punished, the case is closed, forget it.” Now, they’ll have to start it all over and their inability and/or unwillingness to find the murderers is apparent.

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    February 21, 2009 at 10:18

  3. That’s quite possible of course. But what is interesting then is this: How would the Kremlin manage to achieve this? Could it bribe innocent men to accept punishment quietly and without worry that they would disclose the bribe? Or could they try innocent men and convict them and send them to prison without anyone noticing there was no evidence? Which is the more likely option?

    larussophobe

    February 22, 2009 at 14:52

  4. Why judge’s attempt to close the process from the public? I mean what they mentioned as a reason to close the doors of trial?

    Khati

    February 23, 2009 at 05:56

  5. LR, I don’t think it’s possible to bribe somebody into accepting a life sentence. Nor do I think these guys were completely innocent. Perhaps, they thought that the jury can be manipulated as easily as the judges.

    Khati, I’ve written about the beginning of the trial here: http://olegkozlovsky.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/new-column-on-politkovskaya/

    “The process was initially open to the public but at the second hearing the judge, Evgeny Zubov, decided that no journalists will be allowed in the court room. The reason was the jury’s request to close the process: the jurors were reportedly afraid of the media.

    “However, the next day juror Evgeny Kolesov gave an interview and claimed that there had been no such request and nobody asked to get journalists out. He said that a court clerk entered the jury’s room before the hearings and asked them to sign a written statement that they want the process to be closed. All the jurors refused to sign it. But still, the judge didn’t care. Nineteen out of 20 jurors signed a petition to the judge saying that they don’t have any objections to the open process. Evgeny Kolesov sent the judge a letter in which he said that he didn’t want to participate in an “unfair trial” and refused to stay in the jury.

    “The judge had to reopen the process after these events.”

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    February 23, 2009 at 10:12

  6. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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    Mike

    March 1, 2009 at 11:59


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