06/09/2014 04:44 am ET Updated Aug 09, 2014

Murderers Of Journalist Anna Politkovskaya Sentenced To Life


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MOSCOW, June 9 (Reuters) - Two men were sentenced to life in prison on Monday for the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist whose murder in 2006 raised international alarm over the dangers faced by Kremlin critics in Russia.

Politkovskaya, who specialized in uncovering state corruption and rights abuses, was gunned down at the entrance to her Moscow apartment block at the age of 48. Five men were found guilty last month of the killing.

Interfax news agency said a judge agreed to the prosecutors' request to order life imprisonment for Rustam Makhmudov, found guilty of pulling the trigger, and his uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, who organized the logistics of the killing.

The other three men convicted were also jailed, but for lesser terms than demanded by the prosecution.

Makhmudov's two brothers, Ibragim and Dzhabrail, were sentenced to 12 and 14 years in a high-security penal colony for helping to track Politkovskaya on the day of the shooting.

The fifth man, former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, was given 20 years for his part in preparing the slaying, RIA news agency said.

Years of investigation and court proceedings have failed, however, to reveal who ordered the contract-style killing, adding to concerns in the West as well as among critics at home over the rule of law under President Vladimir Putin. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)