The Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee has completed the investigation of the criminal case involving the five individuals suspected of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a well-known journalist. The five suspected individuals – Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, his nephews, the three Makhmudov brothers, Rustam, Ibragim and Jabrail, as well as a former Organized Crime Unit (UBOP) operative Sergei Khadjikurbanov – have been charged with crimes under Article 105, Part 2 (“Murder”), and Article 222, Part 3 (“Illegal Possession of Firearms”) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The maximum penalty for crimes under these articles is life in prison.
According to the investigators, the mastermind of the crime was Mr. Gaitukayev. It was him who set up an organized criminal gang, that included the defendants, as well as Mr. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, the former division chief in the Operational Search Department (OPU) of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs for the City of Moscow. Gaitukayev ran the group until his arrest for attempted murder of Mr. Gennady Korban, a Ukrainian businessman. He’s been convicted for that crime and is currently serving his sentence.
Subsequently Gaitukayev gave orders to the other members of the group over the phone from his prison cell. In Moscow the crime was organized by Mr. Khadjikurbanov. The defendants meticulously planned the murder of the journalist, acquired weapons, discussed their plan in detail. On October 7, 2006, having received the information on the victim’s whereabouts from Pavlyuchenkov, the Makhmudov brothers ambushed the victim near her apartment building. Ibrahim Makhmudov spotted the victim parking her car in front of the building and notified his brother Jabrail, who in turn alerted Rustam. The latter entered the building where Politkovskaya resided and waited for her in the lobby. When the journalist was entering the elevator, Rustam Makhmudov shot her several times. The weapon was left on the crime scene. Right after that the defendants fled.
The investigators put together a substantial enough body of evidence, and submitted the case with the approved indictment to court for consideration on the merits.
The case of Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who plea-bargained, was tried separately from the Politkovskaya murder case. The court sentenced Pavlyuchenko to 11 years in high-security prison.