Five men guilty of murdering Putin critic Nemtsov

Five men guilty of murdering Putin critic Nemtsov

A Russian court on Thursday convicted five men of killing opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in 2015.

Nemtsov was shot dead on a bridge outside the Kremlin at about midnight on February 27, 2015, when he was strolling with Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya.

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov attends an opposition rally on October 27, 2013 in Moscow.

Ilya Yashin, a fellow opposition activist, praised the jury for bringing a “just verdict against the bandits who denied…”

The jury of 12 ruled Zaur Dadayev, 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.

He was shot dead late at night in 2015 as he walked across a bridge near the Kremlin.

He was one of President Vladimir Putin’s biggest critics.

The jury also found them guilty of illegal possession of firearms. A sixth suspect, Beslan Shavanov, killed himself with a grenade while resisting arrest.

All five defendants pleaded not guilty, a position they reaffirmed in their closing statements on June 21.

Investigators claimed the defendants were contacted by a Chechen security official named Ruslan Mukhudinov who offered 15 million rubles (about $270,000 or 237,000 euros) for the murder. Two of Dadayev’s accomplices were directly involved in organizing the crime. They drove after him to a restaurant near the Kremlin, where Nemtsov and his companion, a Ukrainian model, had dinner.

Nemtsov’s supporters welcomed the verdict, but said Dadayev and the others were low-level operatives.

Nemtsov family’s lawyers said that the court failed to present surveillance footage from dozens of cameras that operate around the Kremlin 24/7.