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Brains behind Russian reporter’s murder dies in jail

June 13, 2017

The man found guilty of organising the 2006 murder of Russian investigative reporter and human rights campaigner Anna Politkovskaya has died in jail, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev was one of five men jailed for gunning down of Kremlin critic Politkovskaya in Moscow in October 2006.

Four of the men including Gaitukayev were from Chechnya.

Gaitukayev was handed a life term for the killing of a respected reporter who had regularly reported from Chechnya — although whoever actually contracted her murder was never identified.

Interfax news agency quoted his lawyer, Elena Kharionovskaya, as saying he died of liver failure.

“He had a serious liver ailment for which he had treated for the past two years, but even the doctors in Moscow said the disease was incurable. He died on Saturday,” Kharionovskaya said.

The spokesperson for Russia’s prisons system (FSIN), Inna Makedonskaya, confirmed Kharionovskaya’s account, Interfax reported.

Gaitukayev was the uncle of Rustam Makhmudov, who was also handed a life term for shooting Politkovskaya outside the block of flats where she lived.

Former Moscow policeman Sergei Khadjikurbanov was given a 20-year term for helping to prepare the killing while two of Makhmudov’s brothers were handed shorter terms.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.