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Ex-Cop Sentenced Over Politkovskaya Killing

An ex-cop involved in the killing of prominent journalist Anna Politkovskaya was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment on Friday.

The Moscow City Court ruled that Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who has confessed to tracking Politkovskaya and acquiring the murder weapon, formed part of a criminal group formed with the specific aim of killing the reporter, the Rapsi legal news agency reported from the courtroom.

Addressing Politkovskaya's relatives at the end of the hearing, Pavlyuchenkov asked for forgiveness, adding that his words "wouldn't make it any easier for the Politkovskaya family or my own," Rapsi said.

Politkovskaya, a top investigative journalist who specialized in corruption and human rights violations in the North Caucasus, was shot dead in her apartment building in Moscow in 2006.

Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer representing Politkovskaya's children, said Friday that she would appeal the sentence, saying that it should be harsher, reported the opposition-minded Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Politkovskaya's former employer.

Stavitskaya argued earlier that Pavlyuchenkov hadn't satisfied the conditions of a plea bargain that allowed him to receive a reduced sentence for cooperating with the investigation.

But the state prosecutor said Pavlyuchenkov had named names previously unknown to investigators and described in detail how the crime was organized, funded and carried out.

Pavlyuchenkov said self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky and Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev were behind the slaying, a claim Stavitskaya has dismissed as political scapegoating.

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