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Politkovskaya murder: Mastermind & killer sentenced to life

Published time: June 09, 2014 08:09
Edited time: June 09, 2014 10:20
From left: Dzhabrail Makhmudov, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, Rustam Makhmudov, Ibragim Makhmudov and Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, defendants in Novaya Gazeta columnist Anna Politkovskaya murder case, during a hearing in the Moscow City Court. (RIA Novosti/Alexey Filippov)

From left: Dzhabrail Makhmudov, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, Rustam Makhmudov, Ibragim Makhmudov and Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, defendants in Novaya Gazeta columnist Anna Politkovskaya murder case, during a hearing in the Moscow City Court. (RIA Novosti/Alexey Filippov)

A Moscow court has sentenced five people to prison terms of up to life for the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Earlier, a jury found all the defendants guilty and said four of them did not deserve clemency.

Politkovskaya was murdered on October 7, 2006, as she entered the apartment building where she lived in central Moscow.

On Monday, the Moscow City Court announced the sentences for the killers. It sided with the prosecution to hand down a life sentence to ringleaderLom-Ali Gaitukaev, and his nephewRustam Makhmudov, the man who pulled the trigger.

Gaitukaev, is already serving a 2008-imposed 15 year jail sentence for organizing a separate contract killing.

Other gang members, Makhmudov's brothers Ibragim and Dzhabarail, were sentenced to 12 and 14 years in jail, respectively. Both helped track Politkovskaya on the day of her murder. She was shot on her return from shopping for groceries at a supermarket.

The last convict, Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, was given a sentence of 20 years for serving as a middleman in the crime.

Earlier, another man linked to the murder was sentencedto 11 years after accepting a plea bargain. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov used his position as a police officer to establish surveillance over Politkovskaya's movements. He testified against his accomplices at the trial.

The memorial plaque for journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been unveiled on the facade of Novaya Gazeta office in Moscow. (RIA Novosti/Maksim Blinov)

Three of the convicts were already tried for the same crime and acquitted in February 2009 due to lack of evidence. But Russia’s Supreme Court backed a request by prosecutors and ordered a re-trial in August of the same year.

Politkovskaya was a prominent investigative journalist and human rights activist, who covered extensively the turbulent Russia's Chechen Republic. Her death was a high profile event, which many critics of Russia used as an example of the country's failure to provide security to the media.

The question remains of who actually paid Gaitukaev for the hit, as Politkovskaya made a lot of enemies through her journalistic work.

From left: Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev and Ibragim Makhmudov, defendants in the Novaya Gazeta columnist Anna Politkovskaya murder case, during trial in the Moscow City Court. (RIA Novosti/Evgeny Biyatov)

Comments (10)

 

Andrej Ďurech 10.06.2014 11:22

[quote name='John M. Wadsworth' time='09.06.2014 21:20']aitukae[/quot e]

From what I read in this article the contract was done trough Gaitukaev and not trough policeman Pavlyuchenkov.

 

John M. Wadsworth 09.06.2014 21:20

There is something singularly rotten about this case.

Forme r Police Sergeant Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov is the person who supposedly arranged the killing. He cooperated with the authorities well enough to strike a plea bargain. Yet, he doesn't know who ordered the hit and/or he won't say who? That's incredible on its face. Either that, or the authorities already knew, and didn't need his help.

Then this same Pavlyuchenkov testifies against the co-defendants, some of whom were previously acquitted? Did he testify at the first trial? Was the jury instructed to view his testimony with mistrust? This is all wrong.

 

Gloves 09.06.2014 17:40

Doc 09.06.2014 13:31

Pres. Putin did it?? LOL I have to believe a former KGB Colonel would be able to get rid of someone prominent w/o leaying so many witnesses behind. They look more like the gang that couldn't shoot straight. 5 people to take out one little old journalist? He isn't that stupid.

  


No one knows who it is but everyone makes mistakes. It could be that whoever is behind it threw these guys under the bus just to get the attention misdirected.

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