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The Proxy Trial

polit.jpgA verdict could be delivered on the Anna Politkovskaya trial as early as today, but the men accused are charged only with being accessories to the murder.  The LA Times suggests that, if those on trial are found guilty, the search for the real killer will screech to a halt.

Megan K. Stack writes:

Conspicuously missing from the cramped courtroom is anyone accused of pulling the trigger or ordering or paying for the slaying. Lawyers say evidence has linked the crime to the FSB, domestic successor of the KGB, but has failed to reveal how far up the ranks of intelligence services the plan to kill Politkovskaya reached.

This trial is supposed to be a start; investigators say they are preparing a case against the missing mastermind and killer. But many close to the case worry that if these defendants are convicted, the complicated search for the killers will fizzle.

“If the verdict is guilty, nobody will be looking for the real murderers,” said Murad Musayev, lawyer for Dzhabrail Makhmudov, the younger Chechen brother. “They will mark the Anna Politkovskaya case closed. I’m sure that’s what they’re trying to do.”