Reporters Without Borders notes that on 12 May, Vladimir Markin, the spokesman of the committee in charge of investigating the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, named the man suspected of shooting her and said an international warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to an RWB press-release, forwarded to UNIAN.

“Like all those who are closely following the Politkovskaya investigation, we hope that her murderer will be quickly arrested and that all of his accomplices will also be arrested and charged, but we also believe that it is essential to identify and arrest the person or persons who gave the orders for her murder,” Reporters Without Borders said.

The person suspected of shooting Politkovskaya, who covered Chechnya for the Moscow-based Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was officially identified by Markin as Rustam Makhmudov, a 34-year-old Russian citizen of Chechen origin who was born in Kyrgyzstan during the Soviet era. Russian news media already named him as the leading suspected in March.

Markin said a formal investigation has been opened against Makhmudov and an international warrant has been issued for his arrested. The Ria Novosti news agency nonetheless reported yesterday that Interpol’s Russian office had not yet received the papers relating to the warrant.

Markin also announced that two previously arrested suspects, Magomed Dimelkhanov and Dmitri Grachev, have been released but are forbidden to leave the country.

Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Chaika annnounced in August 2007 that 11 suspects had been arrested in connection with Politkovskaya’s murder on 7 October 2006 in Moscow. Two of them were released soon afterwards.

Seven people remain currently in custody. The detained suspects include three other people with the surname Makhmudov – Tamerlan, Dzhabril and Ibragim – who are believed to be Rustam Makhmudov’s brothers.