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04:31 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Russian prosecutors release two suspects in journalist murder-1

Russia
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The Russian Prosecutor General's Office released two suspects in the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a source close to the investigation said Thursday.
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MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Prosecutor General's Office released two suspects in the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a source close to the investigation said Thursday.

"Alexei Berkin and Oleg Alimov have been freed from custody," he said.

Earlier, a Moscow court issued a warrant for their arrest.

Russia's chief prosecutor announced Monday that a Chechen-born leader of a Moscow organized crime group, known to the journalist, had masterminded the murder, and said former and serving security and police officers had been arrested in the investigation.

Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said 10 people, "including direct organizers, accomplices and perpetrators of the crime," have been arrested in the case.

The gang leader who masterminded Politkovskaya's killing was well-known to the journalist, and the two had met, Chaika said.

He said the suspect is currently abroad, but declined to name him. "I can't give his name, as the investigation is still underway," he said.

According to Kommersant, a Russian business daily, another suspect named by Chaika, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, a former police major, had a cast-iron alibi: Convicted in 2004 on abuse of office charges, he was not released from prison until December 2006, at least two months after the murder.

Anna Politkovskaya, known for her criticism of the Kremlin's policy in Chechnya, was gunned down in an apparent contract killing in an elevator of her apartment building October 7, 2006 in Moscow, at age 48.