Politkovskaya murder mastermind and killer sentenced to life
MOSCOW, June 9 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Monday sentenced Lom-Ali Gaitukayev and Rustam Makhmudov to life in prison for the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
On May 20, the jury found the five defendants guilty of murdering Politkovskaya. According to the verdict, the killing was masterminded by Lom-Ali Gaitukayev and former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov.
The jury found that Rustam Makhmudov was the man that actually pulled the trigger.
Two of his brothers, Dzhabrail Makhmudov and Ibragim Makhmudov, were convicted as accomplices to the crime. Dzhabrail drove Rustam to the scene of the crime, and Ibragim told him that the journalist was approaching her apartment building. The jury decided that Ibragim Makhmudov alone deserved clemency.
The court sentenced Khadzhikurbanov to 20 years in prison. Dzhabrail Makhmudov got a 14-year sentence. Ibragim Makhmudov was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Moreover, the court granted a lawsuit filed by Politkovskaya’s children seeking one million rubles ($28,854) from each of the five defendants.
On October 7, 2006, Politkovskaya, a crusading reporter with the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot dead at the age of 48 in the elevator of her central Moscow apartment building. The murder has been linked to her coverage of human rights abuses in Chechnya.
One suspect, former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, was convicted in connection with the killing in a separate trial in December 2012. He reached a plea bargain with investigators and testified against the other suspects in the case.