The Moscow Military District Court acquitted last Friday Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, brothers from Chechnya, and former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov of involvement in the journalist's murder, one day after the jury unanimously concluded that prosecutors had failed to prove the defendants' guilt.
Judge Yevgeny Zubov ruled 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.
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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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.