Burayeva's comments substantiate a report in today's “Komsomolskaya pravda," which quoted unnamed law-enforcement officials as saying Burayev, the former head of Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan Raion, was arrested in Moscow on September 13.
Moscow's Basmanny Raion Court sanctioned the arrest the following day, on suspicion of Burayev's suspected involvement in the crime. Details of the arrest could not be independently confirmed.
Sergei Sokolov, the deputy editor of “Novaya gazeta," where Politkovskaya worked at the time of her death, told RFE/RL's Russian Service the media should not play a role in spreading information about possible suspects.
"It's not journalists, but the court, that has to decide if the investigation is on the right track," he said. "Shamil Burayev has been under suspicion for a long time. We've had those suspicions ourselves. I think [the arrest] is a continuation of this strange game, where the investigation is in fact powerless because its secrecy is being violated immediately."
Sokolov also said the information was the likely result of a leak from law-enforcement organs, and that the appearance of press reports like the one in “Komsomolskaya pravda" might hamper the investigation.
"Any information that is being leaked to the media creates the opportunity for other suspects to avoid being detained," he said. "What we have here is a PR campaign aimed at hindering the investigation. Journalists have become hostage to people who take advantage of them."
According to the “Komsomolskaya pravda" report, Burayev's name became known to police following the investigation of a former security officer who was one of 10 suspects initially detained in connection with the Politkovskaya killing.
The newspaper said Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Pavel Ryaguzov told investigators he had allegedly passed Politkovskaya’s address to Burayev.
Russian Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika has alleged that Politkovskaya’s killing was organized by a Chechen criminal group in Moscow that specialized in contract killings.
Politkovskaya’s work documenting atrocities against civilians in Chechnya had angered both the Kremlin and Chechnya's pro-Moscow president, Ramzan Kadyrov.