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Russia's top investigator said on Wednesday the Makhmudov brothers, acquitted
Russia's top investigator said on Wednesday the Makhmudov brothers, acquitted of the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, were involved in her death, but the prosecution had failed to convince the jurors of this.

The Moscow Military District Court acquitted last Friday three men of involvement in the investigative journalist's murder, one day after the jury unanimously concluded that prosecutors had failed to prove the defendants' guilt.

"The main evidence on the involvement of the Makhmudov brothers was gathered in August 2007. Further evidence only proved to a greater degree the involvement of these persons in the murder of Politkovskaya. We still have no doubt about this. It is another thing that we failed to convince the jurors of this," Alexander Bastrykin said.

Judge Yevgeny Zubov ruled last week that the case be referred back to the Investigation Committee at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and said that the verdict could be appealed within a 10-day period.

The Moscow Military District Court also granted the acquitted - Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, brothers from Chechnya, and former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov - the right to file compensation claims after being found not guilty.

Novaya Gazeta reporter Politkovskaya, who gained international recognition for her reports of atrocities against civilians in the troubled Caucasus republic of Chechnya, was gunned down in an elevator in her Moscow apartment building in October 2006, in what police described as a contract killing.


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