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Court refuses to recognize Russian opposition leader's murder is political

December 25, 2015, 13:58 UTC+3

The court left unsatisfied a claim by Boris Nemtsov's daughter, where she asked the investigation to change qualification from "murder" to "attempted life of a state or public official"

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Portrait of Boris Nemtsov

Portrait of Boris Nemtsov

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. Moscow's Basmanny Court confirmed as legal the refusal of the Russian Investigative Committee to requalify the charges against suspects of Boris Nemtsov's murder. Thus, TASS correspondent reports, the court left unsatisfied a claim by Nemtsov's daughter, where she asked the investigation to change qualification from "murder" to "attempted life of a state or public official."

"No doubt, Nemtsov is a public and political figure. At the time of the crime, he was a member of the Yaroslavl legislature. Clearly, the murder is connected with his political activities, and all other versions have not been confirmed. The criminals did realise what Nemtsov was," lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told the court. "A contract murder does not exclude use of the Criminal Code’s Article 277 [attempted life of a state or public figure.]"

The lawyer said the murder wasn't caused by Nemtsov’s comments on the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo.

The investigator told the court the investigation had proved Nemtsov’s murder was not related to his state or public activities. "Thus I ask the court to reject the claim," he said.

The prosecutor supported the investigation’s position.

The lawyer told reporters after the hearings he would continue insisting the case is qualified differently.

"The court would not go into details and refused for purely procedural reasons," he said. "But we should not bury the head in the sand. This most high-profile murder is not a regular crime, which is clear. If the investigation does not know the reason, then why claim it is not political. Of course, we shall argue the decision and we shall speak about it on the international arena in Strasbourg, to where we have filed a claim already."

Co-chairman of the opposition party PARNAS Boris Nemtsov was gunned down in the centre of Moscow in the evening on February 27. Zaur Dadaev whom investigators consider the killer, Khamzat Bakhaev, Anzor Gubashev, Shadid Gubashev and Tamerlan Eskerkhanov have been arrested over Nemtsov’s murder. Later on, the Moscow City Court upheld the arrest in absentia of former officer of the North battalion Ruslan Mukhudinov, the suspected mastermind of the murder of Boris Nemtsov.

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