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Life Sentences For Politkovskaya's Convicted Killers

  • RFE/RL

Rustam Makhmudov (far left in photo from Moscow city court on June 9) was given life in prison for pulling the trigger, and Lom-Ali Gaitukayev (second from left) got a similar sentence for organizing the killing. The other three defendants got between 12 and 20 years in jail for their roles.

Rustam Makhmudov (far left in photo from Moscow city court on June 9) was given life in prison for pulling the trigger, and Lom-Ali Gaitukayev (second from left) got a similar sentence for organizing the killing. The other three defendants got between 12 and 20 years in jail for their roles.

A court in Moscow has sentenced to life in prison two of the five men convicted in the 2006 murder of crusading journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev received a life sentence for organizing the killing, while Rustam Makhmudov was given life in prison for pulling the trigger.

The other three defendants in the case -- former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, and Rustam Makhmudov's two brothers -- Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov -- were sentenced to prison terms of between 12 and 20 years.

Their lawyers said that they will appeal the sentences.

Politkovskaya was a correspondent for Russia’s independent "Novaya Gazeta" newspaper. She became prominent for her reports on atrocities committed by Russian forces and pro-Kremlin armed groups in Chechnya in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.

Politkovskaya was gunned down outside her Moscow apartment on October 7, 2006.

The trial of ethnic Chechen Gaitukayev, his nephews Rustam, Ibragim, and Dzhabrail Makhmudov, as well as Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, a former field investigator of the Main Internal Affairs Directorate for Moscow, began in July 2013.

All five pleaded not guilty.

WATCH: Representatives of Anna Politkovskaya's family insist the investigation continue until those who ordered the killing have been identified and brought to justice.
It was the second trial in the Politkovskaya case. The first trial ended in 2009 with acquittals for three of the defendants.

Russia's Supreme Court overturned that decision and ordered a retrial, following prosecutors' complaints about numerous procedural violations during the trial.

Last month, a jury found all five men guilty.

Amnesty International described the conviction "a small step towards justice."

But the rights watchdog said in a statement on May 21 that the process "left too many questions unanswered" and that "full justice will not be served until those who ordered the crime are identified and face the courts."
With reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, AFP, and dpa
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