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Politkovskaya murder case defendants guilty - editor's investigation

February 13, 2014, 18:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Novaya Gazeta newspaper editor in chief Dmitry Muratov knows about the guilt of the defendants in the Anna Politkovskaya murder case from policeman Oleg Golubovich's evidence received by the editor in the course of his own investigation. Muratov said this in Moscow's city court during hearings over the case on Thursday.

Former Moscow policeman Golubovich spied on Politkovskaya before the murder. He was ordered to do it by his service chief Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who was sentenced by the Moscow city court to eleven years in prison as one of the organizers of the murder. Pavlyuchenkov admitted his guilt, but he has not been questioned yet over the main case.

Muratov told the court that during his journalistic investigation, he met with Golubovich, who gave the names of the suspected organizers and the killers, and his statement was recorded. The persons are defendants Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and one of the Makhmudov brothers, Muratov said, adding that he had the talk with Golubovich long ago and it was necessary to study the recording.

The editor also said that Politkovskaya had been repeatedly threatened in connection with her journalistic activities. He explained that Politkovskaya had written sharply criticizing articles about corruption in the North Caucasus, war crimes and human rights violations.

The defendants' defence attempted to know from Muratov who was displeased with the journalist’s publications. Judge Pavel Melekhin turned down all the questions, since they were not within the charges. The defence in turn demanded to recall Melekhin because he prevented the court from establishing who had ordered the crime.

Prosecutor Boris Loktionov stated he would not allow unlawfulness in the court and believed the court’s position to bar the defence from presenting own versions was justified.

On trial over the case are Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, his nephews brothers Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudovs and Sergei Khadzhikurbanov. They are charged with committing the murder in an organized group, and two of them are charged with illegal arms traffic. Rustan Makhmudov is also charged with kidnapping a man in Moscow in 1996 and extorting money from him. All are under arrest.

Politkovskaya was killed on October 7, 2006 at the entrance near her home.

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