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Ex-policeman involved in Politkovskaya murder sentenced to 11 yrs

December 14, 2012, 16:20 UTC+3

Pavlyuchenkov who was under home arrest was taken under guard right in the courtroom

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MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The Moscow city court on Friday sentenced ex-policeman Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov to eleven years for his involvement in the murder of Novaya Gazeta newspaper observer Anna Politkovskaya.

Judge Alexander Zamashnyuk ruled that the convict would serve his term in a tight security prison.

Pavlyuchenkov who was under home arrest was taken under guard right in the courtroom.

The prosecutor demanded to sentence the ex-policeman to 12 years, and his attorney asked to give him a reduced term and if possible to sentence him on probation. The defendant admitted his guilt and agreed on a cooperation deal with the investigators. He asked Politkovskaya's family to forgive him and the court not to impose severe punishment on him.

According to the court ruling, Pavlyuchenkov must also pay 3,000,000 rbls to the family of the killed journalist.

As was earlier reported, the defence asked to return the case to the court investigation stage, asking to add the defendant's disability certificate to the case materials.

The court heard the parties' arguments on Friday. As on December 12, prosecutor Gulchekhra Ibragimova demanded to sentence Pavlyuchenkov to 12 years in prison and limit his freedom for one year more after the term.

The prosecutor asked the court to take into consideration the fact that he repented and helped to investigate other serious cases. Ibragimova also asked to take into consideration his positive character reference and his diseases, his third-group disability.

"Of course, it is good that Pavlyuchenkov has so many awards and good service certificates, but we believe it puts even more responsibility on him for what was done," the relatives' representative, Anna Stavitskaya noted.

Pavlyuchenkov's attorney Karen Nersesyan asked to give him a reduced term and insisted on a suspended sentence.

The court began its meeting on Friday an hour later because Pavlyuchenkov felt unwell. At his request, an ambulance was called for him. Doctors examined him for an hour and said the defendant could be present at the trial.

Nersesyan explained that Pavlyuchenkov felt unwell on Friday morning and a relanium injection was given to him, but it did not help, but worsened his state. The attorney noted relanium was prescribed by doctors.

When asked about his state, Pavlyuchenkov said he had speech and coordination problems and did not object that an ambulance was called to the court.

The court did not reveal his diagnosis and what doctors had written in their conclusion about his health state, as the information was secret.

Former Moscow policeman Pavlyuchenkov was put on trial on charges of murder committed by a group and illegal possession of arms.

The case was considered according to the special procedure when the defendant admitted his guilt and agreed on the cooperation deal with the investigators. Under the law, in such a case, a defendant cannot be sentenced to more than two thirds of the maximum term.

Before the court consideration, the aggrieved party attempted to cancel the special procedure and turn over the materials to the prosecutor's office to join it to the main criminal case over the murder. According to the party, Pavlyuchenkov did not fulfill the obligation of the deal, since he did not give the name of the person who had ordered the crime, but relatives of Politkovskaya believe the ex-policeman must know the name.

Judge Zamashnyuk dismissed the appeal.

According to the investigators, in the summer of 2006, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev for money organized a criminal group to kill Politkovskaya. The murder was ordered by an unidentified person. The group consisted of Gaitukayev's acquaintances -- head of an operative unit of the Moscow police department Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, former police operative Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and three Makhmudov brothers.

Gaitukayev handed over 150,000 dollars to Pavlyuchenkov for the crime. Pavlyuchenkov was to establish Politkovskaya's whereabouts, her day schedule and routes. Using his position as a head of an operative unit, he asked his subordinates to spy on the journalist and gave the information to Gaitukayev, a source at the Prosecutor-General's Office said earlier.

On Gaitukayev's instructions, Pavlyuchenkov obtained a pistol with a silencer and handed it over to the killer.

The investigation into the case of other involved persons is completed. They study the materials. A separate criminal case was opened against those, unknown yet, who ordered the murder.

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