Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, a colleague of late journalist Anna Politkovskaya, told the court the journalist had received threats before she was killed.

"Politkovskaya had a feeling that she was being trailed. I didn't even want to let her go on another trip to Chechnya because it was clear that something was going on," Muratov, who is a witness in the Politkovskaya murder case, told the Moscow City Court.

Muratov said Politkovskaya had told him she had received threats in 2005-2006. He also said the last article written by Politkovskaya was on torture by people close to pro-government structures.

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 Makhmudov, 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.

Former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov has already been convicted in this case. He made a deal with the investigators and admitted his guilt. According to information possessed by the investigators, Pavlyuchenkov followed Politkovskaya at the request of Gaitukayev, who paid him $150,000 to do that.

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