Sergey Khadzhikurbanov questioned on the Khlebnikov case
Earlier, murders of journalists Anna Politkovskaya and Pavel Khlebnikov had been combined and transferred to a common investigator.
Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, an ex-officer of the Regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, who had been convicted for the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was questioned in the penal colony number 5 in Mordovia. The Federal Security Service with the Investigative Committee asked as to what he knew about the murder of another journalist Pavel Khlebnikov. Khadzhikurbanov denied any involvement in the crime. Besides, he stated that he knew nothing about the role Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov and Lom-Ali Gaitukayev had played in Khlebnikov's murder.
Earlier, investigations of the murderers of two journalists had been combined and transferred to one investigator. Some progress on the Khlebnikov case has been made due to the fact that the investigators found the trace of the main accused, Kazbek Dukuzov. Recently he was seen in Chechnya, driving a Rolls Royce.
Six people have been accused of the involvement in Politkovskaya's murder: a native of Chechnya Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, his nephews Rustam, Jabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, an ex-policeman Sergey Khadzhikurbanov and a former Moscow police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov. They all received sentences ranging from 12 years in jail to a life imprisonment.
At the same time, in his book called "The loudest crimes of the XXI century in Russia", Vladimir Markin, the ICR official representative, comes up with a version that said businessman Boris Berezovsky has been involved in Anna Politkovskaya's murder. She was killed in her apartment building in Moscow on 7 October 2006. Pavel Khlebnikov, who had investigated the origins of the so-called new Russian business, was shot dead July 9, 2004 not far from his editorial office located in Moscow's Dokukin Street.
Earlier the ICR believed they had run out of any possible investigative activity involving witnesses available for questioning. The main accused, the brothers Kazbek and Magomed Dukuzov and an alleged contractor Khozh Ahmed Nukhaev are presently in the international wanted list.
Earlier, on the above-mentioned basis the investigator Vladimir Sharaev had ruled to suspend the investigation. However, the Prosecutor General re-opened the case and referred it to another investigator Sergey Stepanov. The latter is now looking for evidence to prove some suspects had been masterminds behind Anna Politkovskaya's murder. Mr. Stepanov believed that the Chechen gang's leader Khozh Ahmed Nukhaev, nicknamed Khan, had proposed to organize Khlebnikov's murder as well. Gaitukaev had met Khan several times before involving Khadzhikurbanov in the crime. For some time he had been surveilling Khlebnikov before engaging Dukuzov brothers and other accomplices.
The court appointed oppositionist Alexey Navalny 20-day arrest immediately after doing another term. During the hearing, he promised to respond to the director of Rosgvardiya after watching his challenge to a duel.