Nemtsov suspect ‘forced to confess’

Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

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A Russian human rights activist says there is evidence of torture on the body of the suspect charged with killing opposition politician and Kremlin foe Boris Nemtsov.

Andrei Babushkin, a member of a human rights commission, told The Associated Press that he visited the detention centre where Zaur Dadaev, the main suspect in the killing, had been held on Tuesday.

He says that there are abrasions on Dadaev’s body and that he had been “tortured by those who detained him” and later taken to the Investigative Committee, where “he was forced to confess”.

Five people have been detained in connection with Mr Nemtsov’s shooting on February 27. Dadaev was the only one who, according to a judge, confessed to the killing, though in court he did not admit guilt.

Investigators have not confirmed or denied the accusations made by Mr Babushkin. But they said he may have broken the law by making the comments.

The commission that Babushkin belongs to is an unofficial advisory body to the president. It operates under the auspices of the Kremlin, but many of its members are respected activists with decades-long careers in human rights work in Russia.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement that Mr Babushkin and a journalist accompanying him had been allowed to visit Dadaev’s prison cell only to see the conditions under which he was being held, but had broken the law by publicising details about the case.

“Such actions may be regarded as interference in the investigation,” the statement said.

The committee said that this was “a violation not only of the rules (of visiting rights) but also of the law,” and said that both Mr Babushkin and the journalist would be questioned by investigators.

The committee, however, did not confirm or deny Mr Babushkin’s claims that Dadaev had been mistreated.

In an interview published with the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets by journalist Eva Merkacheva, Dadaev said that he had been detained for two days with a bag over his head.

“They shouted at me all the time: ‘Have you killed Nemtsov?’ I told them, ‘No,'” he was quoted as saying.

When investigators told him that a friend who had been detained “would be released if I confessed, I agreed”.

He said: “I thought they would save him, and that I would be brought to Moscow alive.”

Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

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