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MOSCOW, May 8 (Itar-Tass) - Businessman Pavel Sopot has been charged in the case over the murder of Novaya Gazeta reporter Igor Domnikov, Investigative Committee /SK/ spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
"Pavel Sopot has been charged with abetting malicious infliction of harm to the victim's health in connection with the performance of professional duties," Markin said.
Sopot was detained during joint investigative events conducted by the SK, the Federal Penitentiary Service and the Interior Ministry's department for Moscow, the spokesman added.
Moscow's Presnya district court will consider Sopot's custody later on Wednesday.
Editor of the Novaya Gazeta's special projects department Igor Domnikov was brutally beaten up in the entrance to his apartment house on May 12, 2000. He was in coma for more than two months in neurosurgery hospital and died without regaining consciousness.
The investigators ascertained that in the middle of the 1990s, Naberezhnye Chelny resident Eduard Tagiryanov set up a gang, whose influence spread to several regions, including Moscow in the late 1990s.
"In the early 2000s, members of this criminal group began to effect bilateral clearing operations between Gazprom-Avia and companies in the Lipetsk region. At that time, Novaya Gazeta correspondent Igor Domnikov published critical articles about the social situation in that province.
In response, entrepreneur Pavel Sopot decided to organize an attack on the journalist in order to strengthen his position among local business people, Markin said.
Sopot told about his plans to Tagriyanov, who supported him and ordered his henchmen to track down Domnikov, establish his address and attack," Markin said.
Gang members secretly tailed him from his office to his place of residents, and hit him at least ten times on the head with a hammer on May 12, 2000.
Tagiryanov and other gang members were convicted for this crime by Tatarstan's Supreme Court. The criminal case against the masterminds and instigators is investigated separately.