Statement issued by Russian Union of Journalists
Monday, 23 February 2009
The trial of those involved in the murder of Novaya gazeta commentator Anna Politkovskaya has ended in total failure. The jury unanimously acquitted all the accused and they were freed right there in the courtroom.
Despite everything, the hearings were made open to the media and public and once again this gave us vivid evidence of the defects of our law enforcement system, which requires urgent reform. And still we can see one positive outcome. It did not prove possible, by convicting minor figures, to evade the most important question: Who ordered the killing of our comrade and colleague, and why did they do so.
The investigation will be renewed and so it is of fundamental importance that all those who obstructed the investigators in their work, shielding the guilty and concealing vital information, are named without delay. The Russian authorities must realise that it is essential that they display political will. The collapse of such a trial is a national disgrace and they will not be able to shift the blame to the investigators, who did not do their job, still less to the jurors.