MOSCOW, March 6 - RAPSI. The Basmanny District Court extended on Tuesday until May 31 the arrest of Rustam Makhmudov, who is suspected of murdering renowned journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Makhmudov was charged with murder, illegal arms trafficking, leaving a person in danger and obstructing the right to freedom of conscience and religious worship. In another case, he is accused of kidnapping and conjoint extortion under the threat of murder.

According to an investigator, the inquest term has been extended until June 7 as it is impossible to finish the case earlier as new investigative actions must be performed.

"I have never kidnapped or killed in my life," Makhmudov said during the hearing.

"They need to place the blame on someone and that someone is now me."

"They have recently conducted a psychological examination and found out that I am a normal person. What kind of man would kidnap and kill? I am a believer, life is sacred to me," he said.

Politkovskaya, who was known for her investigative journalism on human rights offenses in Chechnya, was killed in Moscow on October 7, 2006.

Five people are considered suspects in the case - Pavlyuchenkov, former police officer Sergei Kadzhikurbanov, and the Makhmudov brothers.