Today Russian police announced the arrest former policeman Dmitry Pavliuchenkov, alleged to have been a key player in the 2006 assassination of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Prosecutors say Pavliuchenkov may have been paid to use his position within an elite security services division to order his subordinates to track the movements of the victim in the days before the murder. The Financial Times has the story, including some optimistic quotes from involved parties:
Sergei Sokolov, investigations editor at Novaya Gazeta, said the paper’s own investigation had revealed “at least three” different likely scenarios, which he said “partly coincide” with the version he believed was being developed by the police. But he expressed confidence that Mr Pavliuchenkov’s arrest represented a breakthrough. “We will have to see whether this leads up the chain,” he said. (…)
Politkovskaya’s son, Ilya, told Interfax news agency: “There had always been questions about Pavliuchenkov, but there was never any proof. I sincerely hope that with this arrest, the investigation goes in the direction of the ‘customer’ of the crime.”
It would certainly be great news to see some form of justice served in this case, even if it came five years too late. However, given the fiasco of the 2008 trial and 2009 acquittal of accused shooters, it is difficult to have much confidence in this process, especially if the orders to kill lead back toward “untouchable” individuals in Chechnya.