Russian Federation sentences Boris Nemtsov hitmen to lengthy jail terms

Nemtsov's killer sentenced to 20 years in prison

Nemtsov's killer sentenced to 20 years in prison

A court in Moscow has sentenced five Chechen men found guilty of killing prominent Russian politician Boris Nemtsov in early 2015 to 11 to 20 years in prison, APA reported citing Russia Today.

On the evening he was shot, in February 2015, he had given a radio interview accusing the president of lying over Russia's military takeover of Crimea and backing a protest march two days' later.

Prosecutors had asked for Zaur Dadayev to be sentenced to life and it was not immediately clear why the judge chose the shorter term.

A gunman who murdered Russia's former deputy prime minister, a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, has been jailed for 20 years. Those who ordered the killing, they argue, are being protected by the authorities in a trail that leads to the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya and its leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Nemtsov's allies have criticized the investigators for stopping short of investigating the possible role of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and top Chechen officers in the killing. The Russian government blamed the killing on opposition groups.

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In the months before his death he had written detailed reports alleging corruption by Putin, and voiced fears that the Russian president would have him killed.

Anzor Gubashev was given 19 years in prison; his brother, Shadid Gubashev, was sentenced to 16 years; Temirlan Eskerkhanov received 14 years; and Khamzat Bakhayev got 11 years.

While the verdicts were welcomed by supporters of Nemtsov, the investigation and trial were condemned for failing to uncover the masterminds of the killing or addressing the motive, which is widely believed to be political. Lawyers for the defendants also said they would appeal the ruling.

Vadim Prokhorov, a lawyer for Nemtsov's daughter, denounced the conviction as a cover-up when the men were found guilty in June. Nemtsov's allies say that the masterminds behind the assassination are still at large.