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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Years On, Politkovskaya's Family Demand Answers

MOSCOW — Three years after the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, her family voiced doubts on Tuesday about the guilt of two men accused of playing a role in her killing and the Kremlin's will to catch the main suspects.

The death of Politkovskaya, an outspoken Kremlin critic, provoked international criticism of Russia's record for free speech and human rights. The 48-year-old mother of two was shot entering her Moscow home on Oct. 7, 2006.

Her son, Ilya Politkovsky, said despite a lengthy investigation and a court case, he still did not know if Russian security agencies played any role in her death or if the political will now existed for a full probe.

"We just don't know, that's the truth," Ilya told Reuters, shaking his head, when asked if he felt confident that the case was being pursued.

Politkovskaya's family are also skeptical whether the men facing a retrial are being charged for the right crime.

"I think they're not guilty, their guilt wasn't proved in the court, I think they're involved, but they are two different things," Ilya said.

After a four-month trial, a jury ruled in February that brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov were not guilty of acting as accomplices in the murder. The jury also cleared former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov of any role.

But in September the Supreme Court sent the case back to prosecutors for a retrial, merging the case with that of a third Makhmudov brother, Rustam, and "other so far unidentified persons." Prosecutors say Rustam Makhmudov, who is on the run, was the one who pulled the trigger.

Sergei Sokolov, the editor of Novaya Gazeta, the paper Politkovskaya worked for, said prosecutors had missed a chance to arrest the "chief suspect," who he said was seen last April in an EU country. He did not name the suspect or the country.

However, there were more positive signals that new leads were being followed, Sokolov said. "New suspects, previously not named publicly, have emerged, and I hope they will be prosecuted."

Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders used the looming anniversary of Politkovskaya's murder to criticize Russia's rights record, but officials from the group were not granted visas in time for Tuesday's event.

In an open letter, rights group Amnesty International urged President Dmitry Medvedev to demonstrate a real commitment to bring the killers of Politkovskaya and slain human rights activists to justice.

"That those who murdered Anna Politkovskaya and ordered her killing remain free reflects a failure by the Russian authorities to fully investigate such crimes," said Amnesty's secretary-general Irene Khan.