Traces on Politkovskaya murder weapon do not belong to defendants - examination

Traces of biological materials found on the murder weapon used in the slaying of Novaya Gazeta investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya and other material evidence in the case do not belong to the defendants judging by test results presented by the prosecutor, an Interfax correspondent reports.

Traces of biological materials found on the murder weapon used in the slaying of Novaya Gazeta investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya and other material evidence in the case do not belong to the defendants judging by test results presented by the prosecutor, an Interfax correspondent reports.

The prosecutors informed the jury about outcomes of ballistic, chemical and fingerprint analyses on Wednesday.

Forensic specialists found sweat, blood and saliva on the handgun and the silencer but they did not belong to the Makhmudov brothers, Jabrail, Ibragim and Rustam, or to former police officer Sergei Khajikurbanov.

The hair found on the handgun's spring and saliva on cigarette butts also did not belong to the Makhmudov brothers.

The palm print left on the crime scene was neither the brothers' nor Khajikurbanov's.

Ballistic tests have shown that the murder weapon was homemade, the prosecutor said.

Five defendants are on trial for the Politkovskaya murder, specifically a native of Chechnya, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, his nephews Rustam, Ibragim and Jabrail Makhmudov and a former Moscow city police officer, Sergei Khajikurbanov. They are accused of murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Detectives said Gaitukayev was the mastermind behind the murder. He was charged with creating the gang to which the other suspects belonged. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the gang meticulously planned Politkovskaya's murder, acquired guns and coordinated their actions, while Khajikurbanov controlled the gang's operations.

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