If you were want to blame someone for unleashing me onto the world of journalism, you can blame Anna Politkovskaya. This was a woman of fierce courage in the face of the oppressing political machine that is Russia, a true hero to the voiceless many of Chechnya who could not tell the world of the horrors of the wars under President Vladimir Putin. A noble mentor who showed what real journalism was about.
And then she was shot. Two years ago this brave anti-Kremlin woman was shot outside her Moscow flat. It is undeniable that this was a hired killing, come on, all the evidence points the way to Putin’s front door. The men that stand in the dock today are there to silent the people, escape goats, who for all her vocal condemnations was loved.
And yet even as the chechnyen brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makmudov and the former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov stand trial we know this is a farce. A closed court? Who are they trying to kid? These men will get off. They won’t hoodwink the justice system, because the justice system is in the Kremlin’s pockets.
Even at the start of the trial things were a bit off – the family lawyer Karinna Moskalenko had a narrow escape after being poisoned (does anyone hear Alexander Litvinenko stirring in his grave?) and could not be present at the start of the trial. Then to have the trial moved to a military court, where the family will have even less of a chance to be vindicated.
And now to adjourn the trial early because the jurors might feel unsettled about having journalists in the court room, not according to one juror who gave an interview afterwards, shame on you Judge Yevgeny Zubov.
Here lies a trial born out of farce and spitting on the ashes of what was once one of the truly honourable journalists left int he world.
Please read her books, Putin’s Russia will explain how much of a charade this trial will be, and A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya will really show you her journalistic prowess.