Russia jails ex-policeman over murder of Putin critic

MOSCOW Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:33am EST

1 of 2. Ex-policeman Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov arrives in court during a trial in Moscow December 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Anton Petrov

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court on Friday sentenced a former policeman to 11 years in jail for his role in the 2006 killing of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was sentenced for tracking Politkovskaya's movements and giving the killer the gun used to kill her in her apartment building in central Moscow.

The case has become emblematic of attempts to silence dissent under Putin. Politkovskaya, who was 58, was killed on the president's 54th birthday.

Politkovskaya had made enemies with her reporting on corruption across Russia and human rights abuses in Chechnya, where Moscow had waged two wars against separatists since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Pavlyuchenkov had struck a plea bargain for a reduced sentence, but Politkovskaya's children have said he should be forced to reveal the names of the people who ordered the killing.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove and Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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