Two of the five suspects who are being held over the killing of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov have been charged with murder, and one, who used to be a police officer in Chechnya, has confessed. A total of five suspects have been detained, but three of them have not been charged. They all appeared in court Sunday, and that is when Judge Nataliya Mushnikova said that Zaur Dadayev made a statement to police confirming his involvement in the killing. Dadayev served as a unit commander in the Sever Battalion of the Chechnya police, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites Russian news agencies. The other man who was charged, Anzor Gubashev, who is also of Chechen origin, pleaded not guilty.
“Dadayev’s involvement in committing this crime is confirmed by, apart from his own confession, the totality of evidence gathered as part of this criminal case,” the judge said, according to the Guardian. Dadayev did not comment “and only asked for a fair trial,” according to Russian news agency Tass.
The three men who are being held but have not been charged are Gubashev’s brother, Shagit, and two other men identified as Ramzat Bakhaev and Tamerlan Eskerkhanov, reports RT. “The suspects denied their ties to the crime, but we have evidence of their guilt. It includes forensic evidence and eyewitness accounts,” an investigator told the court.
The BBC notes that, according to Russian media reports, four of the five suspects are from the northern Caucusus region and were detained in the republic of Ingushetia, bordering Chechnya. There was no immediate word on what may have motivated the killing.