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5 Convicted In 2006 Killing Of Famed Russian Journalist

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, Ibragim Makhmudov and Sergey Hadjikurbanov, accused of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, await the judge's verdict in a glass cage at the Moscow City Court in Russia.
Pavel Golovkin

A Moscow jury found five men guilty on Tuesday of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

She had gained fame for her coverage of Russian brutalities in the war in Chechnya and government corruption at home. Her death in 2006 drew international attention.

The jury found that Rustam Makhmudov was the gunman who shot Politkovskaya in the elevator of her Moscow apartment block, according to The Associated Press. Four other men — his two brothers, their uncle and a former policemen — were accomplices.

Three of the men had been acquitted by a jury in 2009, embarrassing prosecutors. The Russian Supreme Court ordered another trial.

Members of the Politskovskaya family praised the verdict but continued their demands to know who had ordered the killing.

Since returning to the presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin has been criticized for cracking down on opposition voices. Politkovskaya had been a key figure among Kremlin opponents and was one of the few to openly criticize him even then.

She'd been warned by a Putin deputy that "there were incorrigible enemies who simply needed to be 'cleansed' from the political arena," she wrote in an essay published posthumously.

"So they are trying to cleanse it of me and others like me," she wrote.

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Alan Greenblatt has been covering politics and government in Washington and around the country for 20 years. He came to NPR as a digital reporter in 2010, writing about a wide range of topics, including elections, housing economics, natural disasters and same-sex marriage.
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