News / Europe

Former Russian Policeman Goes On Trial In Journalist's Murder

People light candles next to a portrait of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya during a rally in St. Petersburg (File 2006)People light candles next to a portrait of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya during a rally in St. Petersburg (File 2006)
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People light candles next to a portrait of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya during a rally in St. Petersburg (File 2006)
People light candles next to a portrait of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya during a rally in St. Petersburg (File 2006)
VOA News
A former Russian police officer went on trial Wednesday on charges of involvement in the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was critical of the government.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov has been charged with being a part of the criminal group that gunned down Politkovskaya in her apartment building.  Prosecutors demanded a 12-year prison sentence for Pavlyuchenkov.

Five other suspects in the case will be tried separately.

Investigators have not been able to determine who ordered the murder.

Pavlyuchenkov has made a plea bargain with investigators, confessing his guilt and revealing information about other suspects in return for a closed court session and a reduced sentence.

Politkovskaya's son, Ilya Politkovsky, criticized the deal, saying that it will not help determine who ordered the murder.  Politkovsky said he believes that Pavlyuchenkov knows a lot more than he told the investigators and likely knows the name of the person who ordered the murder.

Politkovskaya was a reporter for the opposition-minded newspaper Novaya Gazeta.  She was an outspoken Kremlin critic, especially in her reporting on the government policies in the restive Caucasus region.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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