Suspected murderer of Russian journalist in Belgium?
Russian media says the alleged murderer of journalist Anna Politkovskaya is in Belgium.3 July 2008
Belgium - The suspected murderer of journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya is allegedly in Belgium, says Russian media.
The Russian authorities have been looking for the Chechen Rustam Machmudov for months and said on Tuesday that the suspect is in Western Europe.
"We even know the country in which he is residing," said the chief investigator of the Russian state prosecutor's office, Alexander Bastrykin, on Thursday, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. However, he did not name the country.
Citing investigators, the Moscow radio broadcaster Echo Moskwy reported that the suspect was in Belgium. This was neither denied nor confirmed by Russian justice officials.
The Russian government has reportedly submitted a request for his extradition. Belgian judicial authorities however refute this. The Belgian authorities say they have no trace of the man's whereabouts.
Anna Politkovskaya was a critical journalist. She was shot dead outside her apartment building on October 7, 2006. The suspected murderer was seen on a surveillance camera.
Politkovskaya had written critically about Russian dealings with the rebellious republic Chechnya. She was the 13th journalist to be murdered since Vladamir Putin became president. Not one of the murders has been solved.
[dpa / flandersnews.be / Expatica]