MOSCOW, September 17 (RAPSI) - Former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who was sentenced to 11 years in connection with the murder of prominent Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya,was offered $137,000, according to his wife’s testimony, which was revealed in the courtroom Tuesday. 

Politkovskaya, a journalist for the opposition-minded Novaya Gazeta, was shot and killed in her apartment building on October 7, 2006. Her murder is believed by some to be linked to her groundbreaking coverage of human rights abuses in Chechnya.

Five suspects are presently on trial. Lom-Ali Gaitukayev is accused of having organized the murder, and of having hired three of his relatives to help him: the Makhmudov brothers Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail, and another former police official, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov. Rustam Makhmudov has been named as the alleged triggerman.

Pavlyuchenkov earlier signed a plea bargain, gave evidence against his accomplices and was sentenced in December 2012. He claimed to have run surveillance on Politkovskaya leading up to her murder, having paid subordinates of his in the police department between $100-150/day to keep an eye on her. 

It was Khadzhikurbanov who approached Pavlyuchenkov and asked him to spy on Politkovskaya, according to Oxana Pavlyuchenkova’s testimony which was given during investigation and read out in court. The woman refused to give testimony herself, citing her Constitutional rights. 

According to Pavlyuchenkova’s words, her husband Pavlyuchenkov refused to run surveillance, but afterwards she found $137,000 in their apartment. When asked where the money came from, Pavlyuchenkov answered that it was “dirty money” and forbid her from touching it, the testimony claims. It reads that Pavlyuchenkov vowed to return it to Khadzhikurbanov.