03/09/2015, 00.00
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Two men charged in Nemstov murder, strengthening Chechen links

by Nina Achmatova
One of them, former police lieutenant, was found guilty, but Nemstov’s close aides are skeptical and wait withholding approval of investigators reports until main author of attack identified.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two of five men recently arrested on suspicion of being involved in the murder of Boris Nemtsov, were officially charged on March 8 in Moscow, reinforcing the thesis of the 'Chechen link' behind political death of the opponent. Anna Fadeyeva, the spokesman of the Basmanny District Court, made the announcement while confirming the arrest of the five men.

The two accused of "murder and illegal possession of arms" were both arrested March 7 in Ingushetia, one of the Russian Caucasus republics. They are Anzor Gubashev (33) and Zaur Dadayev (his cousin, a former police officer, 34). The latter, according to Judge Natalia Mushnikova, confessed his guilt. However not in court, rather during interrogation, stressed Russian news agencies.

There are suspicions of possible torture or coercion of the detainee (defended by a lawyer). Gubashev, however, pleaded innocent. The other three arrested are: Shagid Gubashev (31, brother and cousin of Anzor Dadayev). Tamerlan Eskirkhanov and Hamzad Bakhaev, arrested on the outskirts of Moscow, on March 8.

All five are Russian citizens of Chechen origin, almost all related to each other, as happened in other political murders in Russia, such as that of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. A sixth commando, Beslan Shabanov (30), besieged by special forces in Grozny, blew himself up on March 7 with a grenade. The five will remain in prison until 28 April.

Dadayev was a former lieutenant of North Battalion (Sever) of the Chechen police, but he had been fired, as confirmed on Instagram by Grozny leader Ramzan Kadyrov,  creator of Sever as part of his personal guard.

Kadyrov was also the first to break the news of Dadayev's dissmisal, who instead until recently appeared to be still in service. Kadyrov himself has now demanded a thorough investigation on why the man was fired, whom he described as "a true Russian patriot, who fought against terrorists."

According to Kadyrov, Dadayev was also a "deeply religious man", and was shocked by the cartoons published by the newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The Chechen leader has not taken a position on the guilt or otherwise of man - whom he claims to know- merely stating that he "would never done anything against Russia."

In Grozny, after the January massacre in Paris, Kadyrov had led a rally of nearly one million people gathered under the slogan "Hands off Muhammad." According to the Russian investigative committee, Nemtsov had received threats "in relation to his position". Killed in an ambush in central Moscow February 27, the opponent had defended cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, but had never spoken out much on the subject.

Investigators have been told to follow a possible Islamist track (the involvement of Islamic guerrillas is also suspected).

However, this has failed to convince the collaborators and aides of Yeltsin's former deputy prime minister. According to them, the Kremlin wants to profit from the man's death.

Vladimir Putin has strongly condemned the murder, calling it "political" and taking investigations under his direct responsibility.

All state media, on March 8, gave in depth coverage to the bail hearing for the five Caucasians suspects, proof of the commitment of the authorities to find the perpetrators of the crime.

Nemtsov allies, such as Ilya Yashin, warn, however, that that they will not support the investigators, work until light is shed on the principal author of the attack and not only on the perpetrators of the crime.

And on this point, again, there was no word from the Investigative Committee. Other murders, such as that of Politkovskaya in 2006, have been attributed to armed men from Chechnya or other regions of the turbulent Russian Caucasus, while main authors continue to remain unknown.


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See also
Another mufti killed in Russian Caucasus
TB is back in Grozny but doctors and facilities are in short supply
Chechen “culture centres” in Europe, a mask for fundamentalism and dictatorship
Islam in school curriculum to fight terrorism
Violations mar Chechen elections, pro-Russia candidate leading


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