Media outlets say Politkovskaya murder case defendant fights against Ukraine: he was released from colony ahead of schedule
One of the organizers of the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was released from prison. In 2014, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, he was released in 2022 to fight in Ukraine.
Khadzhikurbanov has already been pardoned, and after 6 months of participation in hostilities against Ukraine, he extended his contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense: he was promoted to the position of commander. The details were reported by Russian media.
Found guilty of organizing the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov was supposed to be in prison until 2034. However, at the end of 2022, he was released from prison to go to war in Ukraine.
"He began his service as the commander of an intelligence unit. According to the source, 'he repeatedly went behind enemy lines, performing specific tasks for scouts with his men.' Khadzhikurbanov was soon promoted to battalion commander. As another source noted, 'for a prisoner to go from a squad leader to a commander in a couple of months, you really have to be Rambo,' one Russian media outlet wrote.
Six months after participating in the fighting, Khadzhikurbanov was pardoned. He immediately extended his contract with the Defense Ministry. However, the journalists do not say for how long the new contract was signed and what position the killer is currently serving in. It is only reliably established that he has been released from serving his sentence.
Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered on October 7, 2006 in Moscow. She was shot four times in the elevator of her own building, including a "final" shot to the head. Shell casings and a Makarov pistol with a silencer were found near Politkovskaya's body.
Politkovskaya's colleagues and numerous analysts had no doubt that the reason for the murder was the journalist's professional activities: she had, among other things, investigated the terrorist attacks in Beslan and Nord-Ost, and had exposed corruption in Russia and crimes committed in Chechnya.
Former RUBOZ operative Khadzhikurbanov, who worked on ethnic criminal groups, was first detained in 2007 on charges of organizing Politkovskaya's murder. But two years later, in 2009, a jury found him not guilty.
Subsequently, Khadzhikurbanov was detained once again in a case of extortion from another organizer of Politkovskaya's murder, Sergei Pavlyuchenkov. At the same time, in addition to Khadzhikurbanov and Pavlyuchenkov, three Makhmudov brothers and Chechen authority Lom-Ali Gaitukayev were also put in the dock.
On May 20, 2014, the jury found Gaitukayev, Khadzhikurbanov and the Makhmudovs guilty of organizing the murder of the journalist. Khadzhikurbanov himself never pleaded guilty, accusing Pavlyuchenko of slander untill the end as he allegedly owed him a large sum of money.
The court sentenced Khadzhikurbanov to 20 years in prison. Pavlyuchenkov, who made a deal with the investigation, received 11 years (his sentence expired in February 2023). Lom-Ali Gaitukayev was never released: he died in the colony.
In 2021, the statute of limitations in the Politkovskaya murder case expired. The person who ordered the crime was never found. This is not surprising: according to one of the main versions put forward by journalists and analysts, the Chechen leadership could have been involved in Politkovskaya's murder, and according to the second version, Russian President Vladimir Putin could have personally "ordered" the journalist, on whose birthday Politkovskaya was killed.
Former lieutenant colonel Alexander Litvinenko, who was friends with Politkovskaya, claimed at his last press conference that Vladimir Putin ordered the murder. 12 days after this statement, Litvinenko was poisoned. According to the British government, Litvinenko's elimination was ordered by Vladimir Putin's FSB. Litvinenko also claimed that Putin had personally conveyed threats to Politkovskaya through Russian politician Irina Khakamada, although Khakamada herself denied this.
Earlier, it was reported that Putin pardoned a Russian who brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend.
Vladislav Kanyusbul, a resident of Kuzbass, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Vera Pekhtelova in January 2020. Before the murder, he brutally abused her for several hours.
The forensic expert found that the woman's death was caused by a combination of injuries. In total, the victim's body had more than 100 injuries, bruises, hematomas, and cut wounds. Most of all, the man abused his former lover's face, neck and head. Before he died, he raped Vira and then strangled her with an iron cord.
However, the killer was released to fight in Ukraine as part of the Wagner PMC. In April 2023, he was pardoned by Putin.