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Ex-policeman gets 11 years in Russian Politkovskaya trial

A Moscow judge has handed former policeman Dmitry Pavlyuchenko an 11-year prison sentence for his role in the murder of prominent critical journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Prosecutors said he helped track her movements.

The former law enforcement officer struck a plea bargain to soften a sentence that might have stretched to 20 years in prison.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenko was also ordered to pay 3 million rubles (74,500 euros, $97,500) to Politkovskaya's family.

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Man jailed over Politkovskaya murder

The murdered journalist's family said they intended to appeal the verdict, pushing for the full sentence. Politkovskaya was a prize-winning journalist with the Novaya Gazeta paper, for her critical coverage of the Kremlin's fighting with rebel forces in the restless Russian republic of Chechnya. She also wrote investigative reports on issues including corruption and was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was serving in his first stint as head of state at the time of her death.

The prosecution had told the court that the police officer helped keep track of Politkovskaya, also purchasing the weapon used and providing it to the shooter.

Politkovskaya was shot dead in her apartment building on October 7, 2006, she was 48 years old.

Russian investigators wrapped up a probe into her death this past October, saying it was pursuing charges against five individuals, and naming Rustam Makhmudov as the suspected shooter. Makhmudov is accused of following orders of Chechen businessman Lom-Ali Gaitukayev - who is said to have organized, but not masterminded, the plot.

Russian investigators said in October that their efforts had not revealed the potential mastermind's identity.

msh/hc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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