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New challenges in Politkovskaya murder trial, DVD featuring suspected killer lost in court

(GDF/IFEX) - Hearings in the murder case of "Novaya Gazeta" journalist Anna Politkovskaya continue at the Moscow District Military Court.

On 4 February 2009, the judge announced yet another adjournment of the proceedings, this time because of the sudden loss in court of a DVD featuring video materials that the prosecutor wanted to present as evidence against the defendants.

Speaking to the RIA Novosti news agency, the prosecutor's office press spokesperson, Marina Gridneva, has denied that the prosecution had anything to do with the loss: "The case files are in court now, and so is all the material evidence pertaining to this case. Any questions as to the availability or absence of particular evidence items should be addressed to the court."

The court has asked the Investigations Committee to provide a copy of the lost DVD in order to restore the full package of evidence.

This is not the first time that the judicial proceedings have taken a sudden turn. At the very beginning, Judge Yevgeny Zuvov attempted to close the trial to the press but one of the jurors prevented him from doing so.

Another problem arose when a hard copy transcript of telephone conversations between the defendants was claimed to be unavailable. It was eventually submitted to the court, albeit with some segments having been clipped. Now, a DVD recording taken from a security camera featuring the suspected killer has been lost.

Updates the Politkovskaya case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/98687

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