MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) – Prosecutors requested on Wednesday a 12-year prison term for a former police officer over his suspected role in the 2006 killing of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov allegedly helped to locate Politkovskaya, track her movements around Moscow and supply his co-conspirators with the murder weapon.
Politkovskaya, a reporter with the opposition-minded newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was shot dead in her apartment building on October 7, 2006, presumably because of her groundbreaking reports on human rights abuses in Chechnya.
Pavlyuchenkov agreed to a plea bargain and subsequently testified against five other suspects. His case is being heard behind closed doors.
The other five suspects are in custody and will be tried separately. Lom-Ali Gaitukayev is accused of organizing the murder, hiring three of his relatives – the Makhmudov brothers Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail – and another former police official, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov.
Rustam Makhmudov is named as the alleged triggerman. The person who actually ordered the killing remains unknown.
Politkovskaya’s son and daughter have criticized Pavlyuchenkov’s plea deal, saying he should be compelled to name the mastermind behind the crime.
The judge is expected to deliver a verdict in Pavlyuchenkov’s case on Friday, December 14.