MOSCOW (AP) — A jury on Thursday found five men guilty in the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, bringing to a close a trial that Nemtsov’s allies believe failed to bring the slaying’s alleged masterminds to justice.
Nemtsov, a top political opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was shot late at night in 2015 as he was walking across a bridge just outside the Kremlin. His brazen murder sent shockwaves through the Russian opposition.
A jury at a Moscow court found the suspected triggerman, a former officer in the security forces of Chechnya’s leader, guilty of murdering Nemtsov, Russian news agencies reported. Four other men were found guilty of involvement in the killing.
It will now be up to the judge to sentence the five men.
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.
When the now-convicted gunman, former officer Zaur Dadayev, was arrested shortly after the slaying, Kadyrov vehemently defended him as a “true patriot.”
Nemtsov’s family has petitioned investigators to look into Kadyrov’s possible involvement and to question Ruslan Geremeyev, commander of the police unit in which Dadayev served.
The police commander was summoned to testify, but he failed to show up. Investigators told the court last year that they visited Geremeyev’s property in Chechnya but “no one opened the door.”