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Judge orders closed trial for ex-policeman accused of involvement in Politkovskaya's murder

A Moscow judge has ordered a closed trial for a former police officer accused of involvement in the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who is accused of helping track Politkovskaya's movements, has reached a deal with the investigators that would allow him a reduced sentence.

Politkovskaya's relatives opposed the deal, saying it wouldn't help find the mastermind, but the judge on Wednesday dismissed their complaints.

The suspected triggerman and four others accused in the case will be tried separately.

Politkovskaya, a sharp critic of the Kremlin and its policies in Chechnya, was gunned down in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building on Oct. 7, 2006. The investigators' failure to determine who ordered the killing has rankled journalists and rights activists.

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