MOSCOW, July 31 (RAPSI) - Judge Pavel Melekhin has rejected the request of murdered investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya's children to remove the judge and discharge the jury, RAPSI reported from the courtroom on Wednesday.

Politkovskaya, a journalist for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot and killed in her apartment building on October 7, 2006. Her murder has been linked by some experts to her coverage of human rights abuses in Chechnya.

The five suspects include former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov; the three Makhmudov brothers: Rustam, Ibragim, and Dzhabrail; and their uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev. A sixth suspect, former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who earlier signed a plea bargain, gave evidence against his accomplices and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2012.

The investigators believe that Rustam Makhmudov committed the murder with the help of his two brothers Ibragim and Dzhabrail, their uncle, and Khadzhikurbanov.