Suspect arrested in murder of Russian investigative journalist

Russian police on Tuesday arrested Rustam Makhmudov, the man suspected of killing investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.

Makhmudov, 37, was arrested overnight at his parents’ house in Chechnya, his lawyer told Agence France-Presse. He is due to be brought to Moscow, where two of his brothers and a third man are currently awaiting trial over Politkovskaya’s murder.

Politkovskaya was shot to death in an elevator at her apartment block in Moscow. She was a human rights campaigner and Russia’s most famous investigative journalist, working for the Novaya Gazeta at the time of her death, the BBC reports.

Her reports were often highly critical of the Kremlin’s policy in Chechnya, as well as of the actions of the Russian military in Chechnya.

Rustam Makhmudov's brothers, Dzhabrail and Ibragim, have been accused of acting as drivers at the scene of the crime while former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov has been accused of providing logistical support.

The three men were tried and acquitted for lack of evidence in 2009. Rustam Makhmudov remained a fugitive throughout that trial.

Grainy security camera footage from the building where Politkovskaya lived, which was broadcast on Russian television and at the 2009 trial, showed a man in a dark baseball cap following her inside just before the shooting.

But Politkovskaya’s family say that despite the arrest of Makhmudov, investigators have still not established who it was that ordered her assassination.

Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer representing Politkovskaya’s children, said Makhmudov’s detention did not mean the crime would be solved.

“The crime will only be solved when its masterminds are found and punished,” she told RIA Novosti.