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5 sentenced, 2 to life, in Politikovskaya killing

June 9, 2014 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Monday sentenced two men to life in prison and three others to terms ranging from 12 to 20 years for the 2006 killing of renowned journalist Anna Politkovskaya, but her relatives said they are still seeking closure in the case.

Politkovskaya, 48, was noted for her criticism of Kremlin policies in Chechnya and of human rights violations there. She was shot to death in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building.


Gunman Rustam Makhmudov and his uncle, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev — who was convicted of organizing the shooting — were sentenced to life. Two of Makhmudov’s brothers were sentenced to 12 and 14 years and a former Moscow policeman, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, was given 20 years as accomplices. All five were convicted last month.

The Makhmudovs and Gaitukayev are all of Chechen origin.

Despite the convictions, it is unclear who ordered the killing and Politkovsakaya’s family says it will continue to push for the case to be fully solved.

“For us, the most important thing is to find the person who ordered the killing,” her son, Ilya Politkovsky, said after the sentences were announced, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, said “exhaustive measures are being taken at this time” to find the killing’s initiator.