Suspect confesses involvement in Nemtsov death

Suspect confesses involvement in Nemtsov death
Boris Nemtsov

One of the suspects in the killing of leading opposition figure Boris Nemtsov has admitted involvement in the crime, according to Russian news authorities.

Judge Nataliya Mushnikova told a Moscow court that Zaur Dadaev made a statement confirming his guilt. The reports did not specify his alleged actions.

Dadaev is among five suspects detained in the February 27 killing, when Mr Nemtsov was shot while walking on a bridge near the Kremlin.

Another man, Anzor Gubashev, was charged in the killing, and a hearing for three other unnamed suspects was under way, court spokeswoman Anna Fadeeva said.

Dadaev and Gubashev were identified as suspects by federal security service director Alexander Bortnikov.

Mr Bortnikov gave no details of how the men were detained or specifics on how they were connected to the killings.

However, the state news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti said the pair was detained in Ingushetia, a republic bordering Chechnya, citing Ingush Security Council chief Albert Barakhoev.

Dadaev served in a battalion of Interior Ministry troops in Chechnya, Mr Barakhoev said. He said the other, Gubashev, had worked in a private security company in Moscow.

There was scant information about the identity of the three other suspects. Mr Barakhoev said two others were seized at the same time as Dadaev and Gubashev. But there had been no official announcement of their detention.

Shortly before the court session began, Investigating Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin revealed there was a fifth suspect, but gave no details.

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 Mr Nemtsov’s adamant criticism of President Vladimir Putin. Mr Nemtsov, 55, was working on a report about Russian military involvement in the eastern Ukraine conflict.

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

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