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CPJ head Paul Steiger, speaking to reporters in Moscow today (ITAR-TASS)
January 23, 2007 -- An international media watchdog says Russian prosecutors are investigating Chechen police for possible involvement in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Leaders of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said they were told of the investigation by a Russian Foreign Ministry official at a meeting in Moscow on January 22.
"We learned from [a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman] that the Prosecutor-General's Office recently informed the Foreign Ministry that it has opened a criminal investigation into several police officials in Chechnya who are suspected of having murdered Anna Politkovskaya because of the report she was working on at the time of her death about torture in the southern republic," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said today.
A spokeswoman for the Prosecutor-General's Office said prosecutors were pursuing a single investigation into Politkovskaya's murder and that she was unaware of a separate investigation involving Chechen police.
Politkovskaya, who exposed rights abuses in Chechnya, was gunned down in Moscow in October.