Chechen native Rustam Makhmudov has been charged with murder in the 2006 killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, investigators said Thursday.
The Investigative Committee said in a statement it had gathered sufficient evidence of his guilt in the killing and that Makhmudov was also suspected of committing abduction and extortion in Moscow in the 1990s.
He was arrested in his home village in Chechnya on Tuesday. Makhmudov was previously hiding in Belgium and fled the country after the Belgian authorities intensified a search for him at Russia’s request.
Makhmudov’s two brothers are among three men accused of playing minor roles in the killing — as lookout and getaway driver.
The third suspect — a former Moscow police officer — was accused of supplying the murder weapons. A jury found them not guilty in 2009, but the Supreme Court overruled the acquittal and sent the case back to prosecutors.
Investigators remain silent about who might have ordered the killing.