Exiled oligarch Berezovsky may be behind journalist murder
MOSCOW, February 29 - RAPSI. Russian self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky and suspected terrorist Akhmed Zakayev, who presently live in London, might be involved in the high-profile murder of renowned journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, charged with the crime, testified to investigators, according to the Kommersant newspaper.
Politkovskaya was well known for journalistic investigations on human rights offenses in Chechnya. She was killed in Moscow on October 7, 2006. Investigators believe her journalistic activities prompted her murder.
Six people are considered suspects in the case - former police officer Pavlyuchenkov, Chechen-born Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, former police officer Sergei Kadzhikurbanov and the Makhmudov brothers.
An Investigative Committee earlier said investigators 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.
Pavlyuchenkov assumed that the murder of Politkovskaya is related to a conflict which earlier occurred between the journalist, Zakayev and Berezovsky in London.
However, Pavlyuchenkov said he did not know the details of the clash.
According to Kommersant, investigation in Pavlyuchenkov's case has been largely finished. Pavlyuchenkov also agreed to testify in the murder of Paul Khlebnikov, editor of Forbes Russia, under the pre-trial agreement with investigators.
The Investigative Committee declined to confirm or to rebut the information.
Victim's attorney Anna Stavitskaya said she knew nothing about the latest testimony made by Pavlyuchenkov.
The court is expected to hear Pavlyuchenkov's case in May 2012.