Saturday, 22 July, 2017

5 get long jail time for Kremlin critic's murder

Former deputy prime minister and Union of Right Forces presidential candidate Boris Nemtsov speaks during an interview at Echo of Moscow radio station in Moscow in this December 26 2007 Moscow Court Sentences Nemtsov's Killer to 20 Years
Howard Terry | 14 July, 2017, 00:26

Dadayev was an officer in the security forces of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has declined to comment on the court's decision concerning the politician Boris Nemtsov's murder.

Moscow's District Military Court also fined each man 100,000 rubles ($1,670).

The Prosecutor's Office had demanded a life sentence for him.

Shooter Saur Dadayev was given 20 years and four accomplices were given between 11 and 19 years, judge Yury Zhitnikov told the packed courtroom.

Following Thursday's court ruling, a lawyer for Nemtsov's daughter said she hopes the mastermind will be caught and jailed for life. Evidence in the case points to high-ranking government officials in Russia's restive republic of Chechnya, led by Mr. Kadyrov, an ally of Mr. Putin who enjoys the support and protection of the Kremlin.

A 12-person jury ruled last month that Dadayev, brothers Shadid and Anzor Gubashev, Temirlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev - all ethnic Chechens from Russia's volatile North Caucasus - carried out the hit as part of an organised gang. Russian human rights activists who visited Dadayev in prison at the time reported finding marks on his body suggesting he had been tortured.

Mr Nemtsov was a top opponent of President Vladimir Putin and the killing sent shockwaves through Russia's beleaguered opposition supporters. Shortly after the killing, Mr. Putin called it "cruel" and "provocative", and he promised Mr. Nemtsov's mother that he would "do everything" to see that the organizers of her son's murder would be punished.

Nemtsov was shot dead on a bridge outside the Kremlin at around midnight on February 27, 2015, when he was walking along with a Ukrainian model. They say convicting Dadayev and four other people was not enough as the prosecutors failed to identify those who ordered the assassination.

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