MOSCOW, September 15 (Itar-Tass) — The Investigation Committee of Russia has ended the interrogation of Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, former head of a department in the Moscow police service, who closed a pre-trial deal with the investigators and gave detailed evidence against participants in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, news analyst of Novaya Gazeta, The Kommersant reports. Now the investigators are closely working with those who are believed to be the organisers of the crime – Lom-Ali Gaitukayev and Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, and are trying to establish who ordered the murder. They have reasons to believe that the murder was ordered by Boris Berezovsky, a businessman, whose name was mentioned by Pavlyuchenkov.
Retired Colonel Pavlyuchenkov, accused under the article, which deals with “the murder of a person in connection with the discharge of his professional duties, organised by a hired group,” seems to have become the key figure in the investigation, Kommersant writes. The ex-police officer gave detailed evidence about members of the group, created for the murder of Politkovskaya, how the roles were distributed between them and who, in his opinion, could order the crime.
It turned out that the group was created by Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, a criminal from Chechnya. Previously he was engaged in machinations with advice notes, was sentenced to imprisonment for that and after the release he took up new “business” – the organisation of contract murders. The group included Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, another ex-policeman, the Makhmudov brothers – Dzhabrail, Ibrahim and Rustam, as well as Pavlyuchenkov himself.
According to the information, supplied by Pavlyuchenkov to the investigators, Gaitukayev held talks on the planned murder of Politkovskaya in Ukraine, because the one, who is believed to order the crime, could not enter Russia that time. At first only the shadowing of Politkovskaya was planned, but suddenly an instruction came from Gaitukayev: Politkovskaya is to be murdered before October 7 (the birthday of Vladimir Putin, then President of Russia), or, better still, on that day. The client insisted on it. Pavlyuchenkov believes it is quite probable that the order to kill Politkovskaya could come to the Chechen criminal from Boris Berezovsky, a businessman. Pavlyuchenkov’s lawyers refused to confirm that version. Representatives of the Investigation Committee did not comment on it either.
Berezovsky told Kommersant on Thursday that there was nothing new for him in the suspicions of the investigators. He reminded that President Putin had spoken about the version. Putin had said the crime might be ordered by the person staying in London.