Jurors deliver guilty verdict for Politkovskaya murder suspects
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MOSCOW, May 21 (RAPSI) – The jury on Tuesday found all defendants in the Anna Politkovskaya case guilty of the journalist’s murder, RAPSI reported from the Moscow City Court. The jurors decided the suspects’ guilt had been fully proven in court.
Politkovskaya, a crusading reporter with the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot dead at the age of 48 in the elevator of her central Moscow apartment building. The murder has been linked to her coverage of human rights abuses in Chechnya.
The murder trial has been marred by vitriolic accusations of underhand shenanigans and investigations into corruption.
Defense attorney Murad Musayev, who is defending five men accused of the Politkovskaya murder, is under investigation for allegedly paying off witnesses in the trial of Yusup Temerkhanov, who was convicted last year of killing disgraced former army colonel Yury Budanov. Musayev denies the accusations and says they are an attempt to pressure him over his work.
The five suspects on trial are former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, brothers Rustam Makhmudov, Ibragim Makhmudov and Dzhabrail Makhmudov, and their uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev.
One suspect, former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, was convicted in connection with the killing in a separate trial in December 2012. He reached a plea bargain with investigators and has testified against the other suspects in the case. Prosecutors believe that Rustam Makhmudov committed the murder with the help of his brothers, their uncle, and Khadzhikurbanov.