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MOSCOW, September 28 (Itar-Tass) — Investigators are checking Chechnya native Lom-Ali Gaitukayev for involvement in the murder of Novaya Gazeta observer Anna Politkovskaya. Earlier, Gaitukayev was convicted within another criminal case.
"At the request of the group of investigators probing the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Gaitukayev will be convoyed from a penal colony to Moscow. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail for masterminding the assassination attempt on the life of an entrepreneur in Ukraine. The investigators are checking him for involvement in Politkovskaya's murder," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
On October 7, 2006, Politkovskaya was killed in a stairwell of her apartment house in Lesnaya Street, central Moscow.
The murder was committed at around 16:00, Moscow time. The killer fired five shots at the journalist. He went out of the house, sat in a VAZ-21043 car waiting for him near the Novoslobodskaya subway station, and escaped together with his accomplices.
On February 20, 2009, the Moscow military district court acquitted the three defendants on the strength of the jury verdict.
On June 25, 2009, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict and sent the case for retrial which began on August 5, 2009. The prosecutor for the state then asked to reinvestigate the case and pool it with the main case against the perpetrator and the person who had shopped a contract on the journalist.
The investigators do not rule out that Lom-Ali Gaitukayev might have organized the murder.
In July 2006, he took a contract from an unidentified person to murder Politkovskaya for remuneration. To this end, he set up a criminal group which comprised former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, Gaitukayev's nephews Makhmudovs and former officer from the Moscow department for combating organized crime department Sergei Khadzhikurbanov.
Pavlyuchenkov, as unit head for surveillance at office # 4 at Moscow's operations/search department, ordered his subordinates to monitor the journalist to find out her daily routes in the city.
"He later purchased weapons, worked out a plan, and assigned a role to each of his accomplices in preparing and perpetrating the murder.
"The information obtained by Pavlyuchenkov and the weapon of murder were passed to perpetrator Rustam Makhmudov and his accomplices, who had been tailing Anna Politkovskaya several days before the crime," Markin said.
Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, as Pavlyuchenko, earlier testified as a witness in the case. He stated at the trial that he had been paid 2 million dollars for the murder. A representative of Politkovskaya's family insisted that the court detected a grave error in establishing the time of the murder. She added that prosecutors had suspected Lom-Ali Gaitukayev of involvement before, but had no evidence to show to the court.