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Politkovskaya killer suspect delivered guilty verdict by jury

Published time: May 20, 2014 19:12
Edited time: May 20, 2014 22:45
A file picture taken on October 16, 2002 , shows investigative journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya (AFP Photo)

A file picture taken on October 16, 2002 , shows investigative journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya (AFP Photo)

A Moscow city court jury has found five men guilty of taking part in the murder of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. One of the convicted men, a nephew of a Chechen crime lord, was named the reporter’s killer.

The jury on Tuesday announced a guilty verdict for three Chechen brothers, Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail Mahmudovs, their uncle Lom-Ali Gaytukayev and the ex-police officer Sergey Khadjikurbanov.

The panel also decided that the investigation presented convincing evidence of Rustam Mahmudov’s role as the actual killer in the 2006 murder.

None of the suspects have pleaded guilty. Mahmudov has claimed that neither him, nor his brothers were complicit in the murder, while Khadjikurbanov has asserted that he was slandered by another figure in the case, ex-police colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who earlier struck a deal with the investigation. Pavlyuchenkov, who was initially suspected of organizing the murder, was sentenced to 11 years in jail and was also obliged to pay nearly $100,000 in damages to Politkovskaya’s family.

Gaytukayev, on the other hand, is already serving a 2008-imposed 15 year jail sentence for organizing a separate contract killing. He had become known as a crime boss for carrying out large-scale fraud in the early 1990-s, known as “Chechen letters of advice.”

Three of the defendants were acquitted in February 2009 due to lack of evidence, but Russia’s Supreme Court upheld the objection of the prosecution and ordered a new trial in August of the same year.

The investigators believe that Gaitukaev and Khadzhikurbanov were the organizers of the killing, with Rustam Makhmudov acting as the executor.

Politkovskaya worked for opposition-minded Novaya Gazetta newspaper and became famous for writing about human rights abuses in Russia’s Republic of Chechnya. According to the investigators, the reporter’s assassination was directly linked to her job. The journalist was shot at the entrance of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.

Politkovskaya’s murder case has been surrounded by controversy, as the police have failed to establish the name of the person who ordered her killing. The journalist’s criticism of the Russian authorities and armed forces has led to allegations that they could have been complicit in her murder – something President Vladimir Putin has denied as illogical. Others have alleged that the date of Politkovskaya’s murder, which coincides with Putin’s birthday, was deliberately picked as part of a smear campaign against the Russian government.

Comments (8)


Lislvonrockaren 13.06.2014 06:28

Maybe its time for the Russians to retreat from this sector where anyone involved ends up being poisoned by polonium. Russian intervention gets bad press and so are reported the human rights violations of Russians using 'excessive force' against Chechens. Funny how the US makes a big deal about Taliban women wearing burkas, yet remain silent about Chechen women being raped for wearing shorts and kids being kidnapped and stolen from their mothers for human trafficking.


Matt Janovic 21.05.2014 12:25

Politkovskaya did more for Chechens' human rights dead than alive. Besides, there are two sides in Chechnya, and various rival militias, who will do killings for hire even if it's bad for the national cause.
The Chechens also cut off the heads of 4 British engineers, even though that seemed very harmful to their national cause.


KukriCut 21.05.2014 11:43

[quote name='jmbarry' time='21.05.2014 10:40']

Yo u are obviously stoopid.
[/quote ]

Stop talking to yourself bubba, makes you look like a moron.

View all comments (8)
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