MOSCOW, December 12 - RAPSI. On Wednesday, the Moscow City Court refused to terminate the plea bargain agreed with former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, accused of murdering Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the court spokesperson told RAPSI.
In his ruling the judge stated that the legislation does not stipulate the obligatory consent of the aggrieved parties – Politkovskaya’s son and daughter in this case – nor their participation in the conclusion of plea bargains with the defendants. "The states obligation to protect the rights of victims of crime does not include granting them the right to pre-determine the nature of the proceedings. Only legislative and law enforcement authorities hold this right," the judge said.
The judge also dismissed the motion to return Pavlyuchenkov's case to the prosecutor to have it merged with the case over the other defendants.
Politkovskaya’s children objected to the court honoring the plea bargain, urging that the defendant downplayed his role in the crime and failed to fulfill all the terms of the agreement. Nevertheless the judge refused to uphold the motion.
The plea bargain stipulates that the case will be considered by a special procedure which excludes the examination of the evidence and the questioning of witness. The fact that the defendant agreed to the plea bargain mitigates the circumstances, and as a result, the court cannot impose the maximum punishment.
The Prosecutor General's Office reported that Pavlyuchenkov pleaded guilty in full and identified the weapon found at the crime scene.
Politkovskaya, who was known for her investigative journalism on human rights in Chechnya, was killed in the elevator of her apartment building on October 7, 2006 in Moscow.
Investigators believe her murder was related to her work.
Six people are suspected of having been involved in her murder - former police officers Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov and Sergei Kadzhikurbanov, Chechen-born Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, and the Makhmudov brothers, one of whom is alleged to have been the killer.