Politkovskaya Murder Suspect Placed Under House Arrest

RIA Novosti
15:50 31/05/2012

A Moscow court released on Thursday a suspect in the 2006 murder of renowned Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya from a pre-trial detention facility and put him under house arrest, citing health concerns raised by his lawyer.

Suspect Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov’s mother, Nelly, told RIA Novosti that her son had “suffered numerous injuries and burns while on military service in Afghanistan.”

She also said he had sustained numerous injuries during a traffic accident before his arrest.

A former senior police officer, Pavlyuchenkov was arrested in August 2011 on charges of organizing Politkovskaya’s killing.

Charges have been brought against another five suspected organizers of Politkovskaya’s murder, two of whom also have links to the security services.

“I admit that I tracked her. However I didn’t know there was a murder attempt being plotted against her,” Pavlyuchenkov told the court, adding that he now regretted his actions.

Pavlyuchenkov said London-based Chechen separatist envoy Akhmed Zakayev and dissident oligarch Boris Berezovsky ordered the killing to discredit the Kremlin. Both men have denied the accusation.

Politkovskaya was a staunch critic of the war in Chechnya and of President Vladimir Putin. A 48-year-old mother of two, she was gunned down in the elevator of her Moscow apartment block in October 2006 on Putin’s birthday.

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