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 Ms Politkovskaya's movements, has reached a deal with the investigators that would allow him to receive a reduced sentence.
Ms Politkovskaya's relatives opposed the deal, saying it would not help find the mastermind, but the judge dismissed their complaints.
The suspected gunman and four others accused in the case will be tried separately.
Ms Politkovskaya, a sharp critic of the Kremlin and its policies in Chechnya, was gunned down in the lift of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.
Investigators' failure to determine who ordered the killing has rankled journalists and human rights activists.