Chechens found guilty in assassination of politician Nemtsov

Nemtsov's killer sentenced to 20 years in prison

A Russian court has sentenced five men convicted of killing opposition politician Boris Nemtsov to prison terms ranging from 11 to 20 years, on July 13.

Nemtsov, who was an ardent opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was shot several times in the back in February 2015.

Zaur Dadayev, the perpetrator of the shooting was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, TASS reports.

The court found that Zaur Dadayev shot Mr Nemtsov from a vehicle while the politician was walking with his girlfriend near the Kremlin, and that four other men acted as accomplices for supplying surveillance.

Dadayev is supposed to serve his term in a high-security penitentiary. Russian human rights activists who visited Dadayev in prison at the time reported finding marks on his body suggesting he had been tortured.

Those convicted - Dadayev, brothers Shadid and Anzor Gubashev, Temirlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev - are all ethnic Chechens from Russia's volatile North Caucasus. All were found guilty and sentenced to 11-19 years in prison.

A fifth man, Beslan Shavanov, who was also tied to the killing, threw a grenade at police officers when they tried to arrest him, before killing himself.

Investigators said forensic evidence found in the getaway vehicle and telephone records linked the suspects to the crime. Lawyers for the defendants also said they would appeal the ruling.

A sixth man, Ruslan Mukhudinov, has been charged in absentia with organizing the killing.

Nemtsov's relatives have been unhappy with the way Russia's Investigative Committee, the top criminal investigation body, has been dealing with the case. Nemtsov's allies say that the masterminds behind the assassination are still at large.

Nemtsov's close ally, the opposition politician Ilya Yashin, criticised the sentence for Dadayev and said: "It's impossible to consider the crime solved while the masterminds and organisers are still at liberty".

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