Russia continues its probe into the 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the Investigative Committee said, expressing "astonishment" at comments by the Interior Ministry that the case is almost solved.
"At the current time it's premature to talk about any time frame for concluding the investigation," the committee said in a statement published on its website Monday.
Investigators are checking testimony provided by a former police officer detained last year on suspicion of organizing the reporter's murder along with evidence from other witnesses "to avoid wrongly charging someone with a crime," according to the statement.
Russia is close to solving the murder, Interfax reported Monday, citing the Interior Ministry.
Politkovskaya, a correspondent for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wrote about corruption under then-President Vladimir Putin and chronicled abuses by security forces in the mainly Muslim region of Chechnya.
Her books include "Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy" and "A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya."
Nobody has been convicted of killing Politkovskaya, who was shot in the head in her Moscow apartment building in 2006, on Putin's birthday.
The U.S. government has urged Russia to find the real culprits behind the murder of the reporter, who held dual Russian-U.S. citizenship, after a Moscow jury acquitted three men of involvement in the killing in 2009.