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Lawyer Calls For Determining Mastermind of Politkovskaya Killing

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) - A lawyer for the family of late journalist Anna Politkovskaya said he is hoping the investigators can track down the mastermind of the crime soon.

"We do not consider the detention of the perpetrator of the crime to be a breakthrough because the investigators have long been suspecting Rustam Makhmudov of involvement in this crime. I can't thank the investigators for his arrest because it should have been done four years ago," lawyer A. Stavitskaya said.

Stavitskaya reiterated that a real breakthrough in this investigation would be if the investigators "named the mastermind of the crime."

"If the investigators believe it is enough to prosecute the perpetrator, it will of course speed up the investigation and the case will go to court. However, if we want to find all of the people involved in the Politkovskaya killing, which is our purpose, Makhmudov's detention is telling us that we are only beginning to work on this task," Stavitskaya said.

Politkovskaya's relatives have expressed doubts that Makhmudov, even is he is involved in the crime, can name the mastermind.

"I think Rustam Makhmudov is the lowest level of the participants in this crime. As I understand from the documents I saw in court, he does not know the mastermind," Politkovskaya's brother Ilya told Interfax.

Politkovskaya's brother believes it is too early to speak about a breakthrough in the investigation. "It's a victory of the investigators' theory of this crime: if we look at this case, everything indicates that Rustam Makhmudov was the assassin. Of course, if the investigators can prove that in court with evidence, then it will be a victory," Ilya Politkovsky said.

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