The man suspected of shooting dead Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya in 2006 is hiding in Western Europe, Russia's chief criminal investigator was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Politkovskaya, a critic of the Kremlin who faced intimidation for her reporting on human rights abuses in Chechnya, was shot on Oct. 7, 2006, outside her Moscow apartment.
Her murder was one of the highest profile killings of former President Vladimir Putin's eight-year rule and highlighted the dangers to reporters of working in Russia. The authorities have yet to put anyone on trial for the killing.
"According to our information, the murderer is hiding in Western Europe," Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Prosecutor-General's investigation unit, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
"We even know which country he is in," he said, without identifying the country.
Prosecutors have previously identified the man suspected of shooting Politkovskaya as Rustam Makhmudov.
Prosecutors last month announced they had completed their investigation into three men charged with involvement in the murder. The three are in detention and are expected to go on trial soon.
Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika last August suggested the murder was ordered from abroad by enemies of Russia who sought to discredit Putin and undermine political stability in the country.
Politkovskaya, a 48-year-old mother of two, documented human rights abuses by Russian security forces in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus.
Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2008, 14:25