Five in court over Nemtsov death

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Published: Sunday 8th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Five suspects are set to appear in a Moscow court in connection with the killing of opposition figure Boris Nemtsov.

A statement by Anna Fedeeva outside the court comes the day after the federal security service confirmed two suspects had been detained.

Russian news agencies late last night reported that two others had been detained and Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said today there was a fifth suspect.

Details remain vague in the case despite President Vladimir Putin’s pledge to pursue the killers vigorously.

Two of the suspects were named them as Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadaev from Russia’s North Caucasus region.

Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s federal security service, said the two were “suspected of carrying out this crime”, but it was not clear if either of the suspects was believed to have fired the shots that killed Mr Nemtsov as he and a companion walked over a bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow on February 28.

Mr Nemtsov’s killing shocked Russia’s already beleaguered and marginalised opposition supporters. Suspicion in the opposition is high that the killing was ordered by the Kremlin in retaliation for the 55-year-old’s staunch criticism of President Vladimir Putin. Mr Nemtsov had been working on a report about Russian military involvement in the eastern Ukraine conflict.

But Russia’s top investigative body said it was looking into several possible motives, including that Mr Nemtsov was killed in an attempt to smear Mr Putin’s image. It said it was also examining possible connections to Islamic extremism and Mr Nemtsov’s personal life.

Many believe that Mr Nemtsov’s murder in a tightly secured area near the Kremlin would not have been possible without official involvement, and could be an attempt to scare other government opponents.

Mr Putin dubbed Mr Nemtsov’s killing a “provocation”.

One of Mr Nemtsov’s closest allies in the opposition, Ilya Yashin, said on Facebook after the announcement that “it’s hard to judge whether these are the real performers or if the investigation went down a false track”.

In any case, he said, “it’s extremely important that the matter not be limited to detention of the shooters, whether these are the real killers or not. The key task is the identification and detention of who ordered” the attack.

Published: Sunday 8th March 2015 by The News Editor

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