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Statute of limitations expires in Anna Politkovskaya murder case

It’s been 15 years since the murder of prominent Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya. And as of today, October 7, 2021, the statute of limitations on the crime has expired.

Indeed, according to Article 78 of the Russian Criminal Code, a perpetrator of an especially grave crime is exempt from criminal liability if 15 years have elapsed since the date of its commission. 

In an editorial published on the eve of the anniversary, Novaya Gazeta noted that the investigation has yet to name the person (or persons) who ordered Politkovskaya’s murder. Unless a court rules to waive the statute, the masterminds will go unpunished.

“Novaya Gazeta’s editorial office intends to seek a reopening of the investigation into the murder of Politkovskaya and the uncovering of the name of the mastermind,” the newspaper wrote. 

Novaya Gazeta also released a film on YouTube that claims to tell the “full story” of the newspaper’s own investigation into Politkovskaya’s killing. 

Novaya Gazeta

Anna Politkovskaya was killed in the entrance of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006. Six people were given lengthy prison sentences for their involvement in her murder, ranginging from 11 years to life in prison. 

Life sentences were handed to Chechen gangster Lom-Ali Gaitukaev, who was convicted of organizing the killing, and his nephew Rustam Makhmudov. Gaitukaev died in prison in June 2017. Three other people, who acted as middlemen in organizing the crime, received between 14 and 20 years in prison. 

A former policeman was also convicted for playing a role in Politkovskaya’s murder. Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov had his subordinates track Politkovskaya while they were on duty. Pavlyuchenkov struck a plea bargain and received a reduced sentence of 11 years in prison.

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