On 13 July, Moscow City District Court concluded the trial of five Chechen-born men accused of murdering Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. All were found guilty and sentenced to 11–19 years in prison.
According to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Zaur Dadayev, the direct executor of the murder, received the longest term. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in a maximum security penal colony. The Prosecutor’s Office had demanded a life sentence for him. He has also been deprived of his military rank and order of courage, which he received for his service in the Sever battalion of Russia’s Interior Ministry.
Other members of the group — Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Temirlan Eskerkhanov, and Khamzat Bakhayev, were also found guilty. The court ruled that they followed the politician and provided transport to the killer. They were sentenced to 11, 14, 16, and 19 years in prison respectively.
Another suspect, Beslan Shavanov, was killed in Grozny several days after Nemtsov’s murder. According to the official version of events, he blew himself up with a grenade after security forces surrounded him. The Sever Battalion command stated that Shavanov had resigned from service shortly before the incident.
The court also imposed fines of ₽100,000 ($1,700) on each of the convicts.
Boris Nemtsov, who was in strict opposition to the current Russian leadership, was shot dead on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow, several hundred metres from the Kremlin, on the night of 28 February 2015. Shortly before his murder, Nemtsov stated that he was in fear for his life, which was confirmed by the editor-in-chief of the radio Ekho Moskvy, Aleksey Venediktov.