- Title: Chechens go on trial for killing Kremlin critic, lawyers cry foul
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** FIVE SUSPECTS IN THE KILLING OF BORIS NEMTSOV BEING LED TO COURTROOM BY POLICE VARIOUS OF SUSPECTS INSIDE CAGE WITHIN COURTROOM PEOPLE WALKING INTO COURTROOM VARIOUS OF SUSPECTS INSIDE CAGE EXTERIOR OF MOSCOW DISTRICT MILITARY COURT SIGN FOR COURT (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LAWYER FOR ZHANNA NEMTSOVA (BORIS NEMTSOV'S DAUGHTER), VADIM PROKHOROV, SAYING: "It appears to me that there is a certain amount of evidence. I am firmly persuaded that at least a some of those who are on the defendant's bench were truly involved in carrying out this crime. At least I have no doubts about some of those who are on the defendant's bench. And the investigation has chosen the right track." DESIGN OF SCALES ON WALL OF BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LAWYER FOR ZHANNA NEMTSOVA (BORIS NEMTSOV'S DAUGHTER), VADIM PROKHOROV, SAYING: "Nevertheless as far as the organisers and the one that ordered (the crime) - we have repeatedly put forward motions for the interrogation of a number of top-officials in the Republic of Chechnya, including Ramzan Kadyrov. This has not been done yet. We hope that this trial will allow us to get additional arguments, in order to compel the investigators and the authorities to carry out a normal, comprehensive investigation not only against the actors, but also the masterminds behind this crime." MEDIA RUSSIAN FLAG ON COURT BUILDING
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 11:31
- Keywords: Russia Boris Nemtsov court case lawyer murder trial Moscow opposition figure
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA00152G9JRB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Five Chechen men went on trial in Moscow on Monday (October 3) for the murder of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, but lawyers for the dead man's daughter said the investigation had failed to uncover who ordered the shooting.
The 55-year-old Nemtsov, an opposition leader and former deputy prime minister, was gunned down near the Kremlin walls late in the evening of Feb. 27, 2015, as he walked home with his girlfriend from a restaurant.
He was the most prominent opposition figure to be assassinated during the rule of President Vladimir Putin, whose government has condemned the killing and described it as a "provocation" designed to discredit it.
A prosecutor said the investigation had identified a group of Chechens who had been after Nemtsov since autumn 2014. They rented apartments in Moscow, bought a pistol and ammunition and used several cars to keep track of him.
On the day of the murder, two of the accused watched Nemtsov through a window as he dined with his girlfriend at a glitzy cafe near Red Square, the court was told. One of the men caught up with him as he crossed a bridge and fired six shots at him.
After the murder, the group went to their home region of Chechnya in southern Russia. One of the alleged gang was killed while resisting arrest.
Olga Mikhailova, a lawyer representing Nemtsov's daughter Zhanna, has said the investigation was not over yet and it lacked evidence. Investigators had rejected requests by victims' lawyers to question Ramzan Kadyrov, the staunchly pro-Kremlin president of Chechnya. Nemtsov had publicly criticised Kadyrov and his security services, and accused Putin of buying the former warlord's loyalty "with trainloads of cash".
Kadyrov, who calls himself "Putin's foot soldier", has denied involvement in the crime and described Nemtsov as a minor figure.
A close relative of a senator representing Chechnya in Russia's parliament originally figured as a suspect in the investigation but was later dropped from the case, Mikhailova said.
The court accepted a petition filed by victims' lawyers to conduct a new investigation, but nevertheless proceeded with the hearings.
"I am firmly persuaded that at least some of those who are on the defendants' bench were truly involved in carrying out this crime," said Vadim Prokhorov, another lawyer for Zhanna Nemtsova.
"Nevertheless as far as the organisers and the one that gave the order are concerned, we have repeatedly put forward motions for the interrogation of a number of top officials in the Republic of Chechnya, including Ramzan Kadyrov, (but) this has not been done yet."
Nemtsov had authored an excoriating report on Putin's rule and, shortly before he was killed, had been working on a report examining the Russian military's role in Ukraine.
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