Court remands in custody three suspects in Politkovskaya murder

MOSCOW, November 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court remanded in custody on Monday three suspects in the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

The court turned down appeals from lawyers acting for Chechnya residents Ibragim Makhmudov, his brother Tamerlan Makhmudov, and Magomed Demelkhanov, who said a lower court's decision to extend custody until January 7 was illegitimate. The investigation has also been prolonged until January 7.

The journalist, who gained international recognition for her criticism of the Kremlin and reports of atrocities against civilians in the troubled Caucasus republic of Chechnya, was gunned down in the entryway of her Moscow apartment building in October 2006.

Lawyers asked for the release of Ibragim on health grounds and said Tamerlan had an alibi, which investigators failed to check. They also that necessary investigative procedures had not been carried out with respect to Demelkhanov while he was in jail.

In September, the Prosecutor General's Office charged an ex-police official in Chechnya, Shamil Burayev, with being an accomplice in the murder. Prosecutors said he had obtained Politkovskaya's address from Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Ryaguzov, another suspect in the case, and passed it on to the Makhmudov brothers, Demelkhanov and other suspects.

All the suspects in the case have denied the charges against them.

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