MOSCOW, March 27 (RAPSI) - Mikhail Glushchenko, a former lawmaker in the State Duma, Russian parliament's lower chamber, who stands accused of organizing the murder of fellow parliamentarian Galina Starovoitova in 1998, has signed a plea agreement, Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday.

Starovoitova was killed in St. Petersburg in November 1998. Her assistant Ruslan Linkov was wounded in the attack.

Eight suspects, including Yury Kolchin, a former employee of the military intelligence General Staff's Main Directorate, were charged with taking part in the assassination. A court in St. Petersburg in June 2005 sentenced all the men to prison terms varying from 11 to 23.5 years.

In 2004, a witness in the murder named Glushchenko as one of its masterminds.

As part of his plea agreement, Glushchenko reportedly agreed to testify against Vladimir Barsukov, who is believed to be a leader of one of the country’s most powerful criminal syndicates. Barsukov, who changed his name from Kumarin earlier, went on trial on charges of attempted murder. He was sentenced in November 2009 to 14 years in prison for illegal corporate raiding, extortion, and fraud, among other crimes. The sentence was reconsidered in March 2012, and Barsukov received 15 years in prison.

Notably, Glushchenko was charged in another criminal case with extortion and sentenced in March 2012 to 8 years in prison.