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Ex-Cop Formally Charged As 'Organizer' Of Politkovskaya Murder


Former police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov (center) is escorted by police in Moscow in August 2011, five years after the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Former police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov (center) is escorted by police in Moscow in August 2011, five years after the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Russian authorities have formally charged a former police officer with organizing the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Russia's Investigative Committee announced on July 16 that it believes Dmitry Pavlyuchenko, who has been in custody for nearly a year, was responsible for planning the killing and that he tracked the Kremlin critic for months before she was shot dead in her Moscow apartment building.

Officials have said previously that Rustam Makhmudov was the gunman who killed Politkovskaya and Lom-Ali Gaitukayev was the middle-man who paid Pavlyuchenko to organize the murder. Both men, from Chechnya, are currently in detention.

Investigators say, however, that they still have no clear idea of who ordered the killing.

Rights groups have accused the state of seeking to protect high-ranking Russian officials who may have ordered Politkovskaya's murder.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AFP, and AP
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