Prosecutor finds no signs of pressure on convict over Politkovskaya’s case
Sergey Khadzhikurbanov's lawyer argued that his client had been compelled to testify to the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s involvement in the journalist’s murder.
The Mordovia Prosecutor's Office did not reveal any violations of Sergey Khadzhikurbanov’s rights. The defendant had been proven guilty of murdering Novaya Gazeta’s reviewer Anna Politkovskaya. Checks have been conducted to verify the information published by Kommersant under the heading that goes: "Hirer of contract killer who murdered Anna Politkovskaya searched for through Mordovia colony." The article claimed that Khadzhikurbanov was compelled to testify to Boris Berezovsky’s involvement in the murder.
"The information was analyzed thoroughly, but no objective evidence was found to confirm the truth of it, and therefore there are no grounds for the public prosecutor's response", the Mordovia Prosecutor’s Office stated.
The Kommersant article said that the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service were working on the version that the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky had been involved in the 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Andrey Vikanov, the attorney of the former organized crime unit officer, said his client had been compelled to give a testimony against Berezovsky. Besides, the convicted was urged to grass up the men who had ordered the hit of Forbes chief editor Paul Klebnikov in 2004, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev and Hozh-Ahmed Nukhaev. To knock out the exact testimony the investigators needed, the Mordovia Penitentiary Service kept toughening Khadzhikurbanov’s prison conditions. Never-ending disciplinary punishments he would get for a slightest violation resulted in the convict spending most of last year in a punishment cell (solitary confinement) and ward-type rooms (WTR). Besides, according to the lawyer, as his client was transferred to the WTR, no disciplinary commission was convened.
Previously, Sergey Khadzhikurbanov had been sentenced to 20 years in a strict colony.