According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Pavlyuchenkov is claimed to have formed the group tasked with killing Politkovskaya. Authorities have accused the colonel of receiving payment for plotting the murder of Anna Politkovskaya and forming the group to carry it out.
Investigators claim that he ordered surveillance of Politkovskaya to discover her whereabouts and usual routes around Moscow. Pavlyuchenkov allegedly obtained a gun, planned the murder and also assigned tasks to his accomplices.
In May of this year, the trigger-man, Rustam Makhmudov was arrested in Chechnya and has been charged with the murder of Anna Politkovskaya.
Rustam Makhmudov’s brothers, Dzhabrail and Ibragim, have been accused of acting as drivers at the scene of the crime while former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov has been accused of providing logistical support.
The three men were tried in 2009 but were acquitted for lack of evidence, the verdict however was overturned by Russia’s supreme court, they are to be retried.
On 7 October 2006, Politkovskaya was found dead in an elevator of her apartment building in Moscow.
Politkovskaya was an outspoken human rights defender and one of Russia’s most famous investigative journalists.
For over a decade, Anna Politkovskaya spoke out against human rights violations in Chechnya, those stories often led to threats against her. Her reports were very critical of the Kremlin, as well as the Russian military in Chechnya and the pro-Moscow Chechen authorities.
At the time of her death, Politkovskaya had been working on several reports about Chechnya for the Russian-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta, known well for its critiques of Chechen authorities.
Nina Ognianova, the Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement, “We welcome this new, significant development in the investigation into the murder of our colleague Anna Politkovskaya and commend the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for its persistent work toward bringing this case to a successful end.”