Politkovskaya, who gained international recognition for her reports of military atrocities against civilians in the troubled Caucasus republic of Chechnya, was gunned down in an elevator in her Moscow apartment building in October 2006, in what police described as a contract killing.
Three men, Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, brothers from Chechnya, and a former police officer, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, have been charged with involvement in the murder.
The defense was scheduled to question Ibragim Makhmudov during today's court session, but his lawyer could not appear due to other professional commitments.
The man suspected of pulling the trigger, Rustam Makhmudov - the eldest of the three Makhmudov brothers - remains at large. A separate case has been launched against him.