MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – A Moscow court on Monday ruled that a defendant in the ongoing trial for the killing of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya would not be tried separately from other suspects even though he was shot in the thigh last week.
Dzhabrail Makhmudov, who is accused of involvement in the 2006 shooting death of Politkovskaya, was hospitalized and operated on after being shot in the left thigh on August 14.
Last week, Prosecutor Boris Loktiyonov asked the Moscow City Court, where the trial is being held, to stop the proceedings against Makhmudov but continue the trial against the other defendants, who include three relatives of Makhmudov.
The court decided to halt the legal proceedings until Makhmudov recovers, a court spokesman told the RAPSI news agency.
Judge Pavel Melekhin said Monday that the hearings would resume on August 26, because doctors expect Makhmudov to be discharged around August 30.
Politkovskaya, who harshly criticized the Kremlin and local authorities in Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus region in her stories for the opposition-leaning Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was gunned down in the elevator of her apartment building on October 7, 2006. Her murder caused an international outcry amid widespread but unproven allegations of involvement by state agencies.
Dzhabrail Makhmudov, who is accused of participating in the killing, was arrested in 2007 but released in February 2009 after the jury found him not guilty. He was charged again after a retrial was ordered. According to prosecutors, Makhmudov drove the suspected killer – his brother Rustam Makhmudov – to the crime scene.