Killer known in Politkovskaya's murder case: reports

People attend a remembrance ceremony for murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya outside the Russian embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, October 7, 2007. REUTERS/Scanpix/Johan Nilsson/

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Investigators looking into the murder of anti-Kremlin journalist Anna Politkovskaya have identified her killer and are trying to find and detain him, Russian news agencies quoted a prosecutor as saying on Friday.

Politkovskaya, a harsh critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead in October 2006 in her Moscow apartment building. Her killing aroused international indignation and led to pressure on Putin to ensure the crime was solved.

“The perpetrator who committed the crime -- the murder of Politkovskaya -- has been established,” a prosecutor told a court hearing on the case. “All measures are being taken to track down and arrest this person.”

The prosecutor did not name the person being sought.

Nine suspects have already been charged in the investigation, due to end in September, the prosecutor said.

The editor-in-chief of Politkovskaya’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper dismissed the news a killer had been identified as a prosecutorial maneuver.

Dmitry Muratov said the investigation had already announced last year it knew the name of the killer. He said prosecutors now wanted to keep one of the accused -- Colonel Pavel Ryaguzov of the Federal Security Service (FSB) -- in prison by saying a fellow criminal was still at-large.

Ryaguzov is in a detention centre on charges of abusing his office.

Investigators have said Ryaguzov gave Politkovskaya’s address to another suspect, who in turn passed the information to the killer.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Chris Baldwin and Mary Gabriel