MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. The jury has failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the guilt of five defendants in the case of the murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov, a TASS correspondent reported from the Moscow District Military Court on Tuesday.
"We have failed to reach a verdict and ask for a break till tomorrow," the jury forewoman said.
Judge Yuri Zhitnikov has announced a recess till June 28. The verdict will be pronounced on that day.
On Tuesday, the jury retired to the consultation room to reach a verdict. The jury is to answer 26 questions, the main of which is whether Zaur Dadayev is guilty of Nemtsov’s murder that he carried out with the other defendants. The jury also has to answer a question on whether they deserve leniency in case they are found guilty.
Under law, defendants who are considered by the jury as deserving leniency cannot be sentenced to a maximal term of imprisonment, which would be a life sentence in this case.
Russian laws give the jury three hours to conduct consultations in the deliberations room. On Tuesday, they spent there slightly more than two hours. Thus, the jury will have one hour on Wednesday to arrive at a verdict. In case it is reached, the jury will answer the questions by voting.
Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister under the then President, Boris Yeltsin, co-chairman of the Parnas party and a lawmaker of the Yaroslavl regional legislature, was gunned down in the center of Moscow late on February 27, 2015. Five persons, namely Zaur Dadayev, Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev, were arrested on suspicion of murdering the politician.
Depending on their role and degree of their involvement, they face charges under part 2, article 105 (Contract Murder Committed by an Organized Group) and part 3, article 222 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Illegal Acquisition, Transfer, Storage, Transportation and Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by an Organized Group). Article 105 carries a punishment of up to life imprisonment.
According to investigators, the suspected organizer of the murder is Ruslan Mukhudinov, a former officer of the Chechen "Sever" battalion. Mukhudinov has been charged in absentia. He has been on the international wanted list since November 2015. A criminal case against him is investigated separately.