News Worms
News Worms

Russia: Killer of Putin Critic Nemtsov Gets 20 Years in Prison

Russia: Killer of Putin Critic Nemtsov Gets 20 Years in Prison

His accomplices were handed 11 to 19-year prison sentences.

On Wednesday, a prosecutor in the case requested to sentence Dadayev to life.

As he quickly rose through the ranks of the Russian government in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, Mr. Nemtsov turned into an advocate of democratic reforms.

Nemtsov, who was deputy prime minister under president Boris Yeltsin, was openly critical of Putin's decision to annex Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

On Thursday, a Russian court gave lengthy jail terms to five Chechen men found guilty of the contract killing of Nemtsov, but his allies insist the masterminds behind the crime remained unidentified.

The assassination or Mr. Nemtsov, a charismatic opposition leader who antagonized the Kremlin, was the most prominent political murder in Russian Federation since President Vladimir V. Putin came to power in 1999.

Boris Nemtsov was gunned down just yards from the Kremlin in February 2015 in the most high-profile political killing since the Russian president came to power.

Nemtsov was shot in the back by Zaur Dadayev, a senior officer in a paramilitary unit under the command of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, as he crossed the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow. The report was released three months later.

The four accomplices - Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev - all proclaimed their innocence throughout the case.

Ilya Yashin, a close Nemtsov ally, criticized the sentence.

Shamsudin Tsakayev, Dadayev's lawyer, told Reuters after the sentencing that there was "incontrovertible proof" that his client had not committed the crime. They say convicting Dadayev and four other people was not enough as the prosecutors failed to identify those who ordered the assassination.

Despite the guilty verdict handed out by the court last week, Nemtsov's relatives and supporters argue the men in the court-room are mere pawns.


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