The Moscow City Court has postponed until January 27 the trial of the criminal case involving the killing of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Thus, the court has granted a request filed by one of the defense lawyers, who needed more time to read the case materials, an Interfax correspondent has reported.
The prosecutor was expected to read the indictment and the suspects were expected to enter pleas on Monday.
The previous hearing was also postponed because one of the defendants had a new lawyer and he needed time to read the case materials.
The court previously selected a new jury. Anna Stavitskaya, a representative for the victims, told reporters the court had selected 12 main jurors and 12 reserve jurors. She said most of the main jurors are women and most of the reserve jurors are men.
Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist from Novaya Gazeta, was killed in the lobby of her house in Moscow on October 7, 2006. The masterminds of the crime have not been determined.
Standing trial are five people, i.e. Chechen native Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, his nephews Rustam, Ibragim, and Dzhabrail Makhmudovs, and former Moscow city police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov. They have been charged with murder (Russian Criminal Code Article 105) and illegal weapons turnover (Article 222).
According to the information possessed by the investigators, the mastermind is Gaitukayev, who created the organized group comprised of the other defendants in 2006. The investigators believe the members of the group thoroughly planned the Politkovskaya murder, purchased weapons, and coordinated their actions, and "Sergei Khadzhikurbanov supervised the group's actions."
None of the defendants are admitting their guilt.