Web Issue 2661 October 10 2006   
 
Blair and Bush call for Kremlin inquiry into journalist’s murder
MICHAEL SETTLE October 10 2006
Tony Blair and George W Bush last night intensified the pressure on the Kremlin to launch a full and thorough investigation into the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist and fierce critic of the Putin government, who was gunned down on Saturday.
They did so as Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper where the Russian reporter worked, offered £500,000 for information leading to her killers. "The murder is a challenge to basic values of our society," the newspaper said. At the time of her death, Ms Politkovskaya, 48, was understood to be on the verge of publishing a story about alleged torture and abductions by government forces in Chechnya, where Russia is still fighting separatist militants. The reporter blamed Ramzan Kadyrov, the Moscow-backed Chechen Prime Minister, for the supposed crimes. "I dream of seeing him tried," she said just days before her death.
Mr Blair said: "We condemn this murder and call for a thorough investigation into this terrible crime."
Mr Bush too urged Moscow "to conduct a vigorous and thorough investigation".
The Kremlin said in a statement that "Russia's law-enforcement bodies will take every step to investigate objectively" the journalist's death.
   
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