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Investigators Search Home of Politkovskaya Case Lawyer

Investigators said Monday that they have searched the apartment of a prominent lawyer currently representing the suspected killers of crusading reporter Anna Politkovskaya over accusations that he bribed witnesses in an unrelated trial.

Murad Musayev is under investigation for allegedly paying off witnesses in the trial of Yusup Temerkhanov, who was convicted last year of killing a disgraced former army colonel, Yury Budanov.

Currently defending five men accused of the 2006 murder of Politkovskaya in an ongoing trial in Moscow, Musayev denies the charges of bribery and insists they are an attempt to exert pressure on him over his work.

Musayev said his parents were inside the apartment when the search took place, but he himself was in the southern Russian city of Samara, according to Russian media reports.

Investigators allege that Musayev paid witnesses to lie in court in an attempt to secure the acquittal of Temerkhanov.

During the course of the trial last year, Temerkhanov's legal team alleged that two eyewitnesses in the case were threatened and that one was ordered to say Musayev had offered him money, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Temerkhanov was sentenced to 15 years in prison in May for gunning down Budanov in broad daylight on a Moscow street in 2011. Budanov had been released from prison early after serving eight years for kidnapping and murdering an 18-year-old local woman in the Russian republic of Chechnya while there on military duty.

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