MOSCOW, August 25 - RAPSI. Former police Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov suspected of masterminding the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya denies the charges, his attorney, Tamara Kuchma, told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) on Thursday.

An Investigative Committee spokesman said investigators have established that in late July 2006, Pavlyuchenkov was paid to mastermind the murder of Politkovskaya. He organized a criminal group that included the three Makhmudov brothers. Pavlyuchenkov allegedly obtained guns, developed a plan and delegated duties amongst the gang members.

Politkovskaya, well-known for her journalistic investigations of human rights offenses in Chechnya, was killed in the lift of her building in Moscow, on October 7, 2006. Her professional activity is assumed to be linked to her murder.