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Five sentenced in Russian journalist's murder

The critic of Kremlin policy in Chechnya was shot and killed in 2006.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   June 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM
| License Photo

MOSCOW, June 9 (UPI) -- Five men were sentenced in Moscow on Monday, including two to life sentences, for the 2006 murder of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, who organized the team that killed her, and his nephew Rustam Makhmudov, the gunman, received the life sentences. Politkovskaya, 48, was a critic of Kremlin policy as it pertained to the Russian republic of Chechnya. She was shot to death near her Moscow apartment in a contract killing.

The sentences are the most severe in the long-running investigation of Politkovskaya's death, but the trial revealed little about who sought to have her killed.

"The case cannot be closed because it has not been solved," her daughter said.

Critics have contended Russia has displayed a lack of will in solving the case. President Vladimir Putin called Politkovskaya's reporting "extremely insignificant for political life in Russia," and later said the circumstances of her death damaged Russia more than her published work.

She was one of several journalists murdered in Russia since 2004, bringing notice of a culture of violence against journalists.

"It is a very high-profile murder case. It made all the headlines. It was very clear that they had to show something, and that's what happened today, but they did not go after the big guy, the one who actually ordered it," said Tanya Lokshina, Russian program director of the activist group Human Rights Watch.

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