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Jury to deliberate on verdict in Nemtsov murder case

In case votes are divided evenly, a decision in the defendants’ favor will be made
Portrait of Boris Nemtsov Mikhail Japaridze/TASS
Portrait of Boris Nemtsov
© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. On Thursday, the Moscow District Military Court’s jury has once again failed to reach a verdict for five suspects charged with the murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov. The jurors have begun deliberating over the case’s questions.

According to law, a decision on each of the 26 questions will be made by a majority of votes. Should the votes be divided evenly, a decision in the defendants’ favor will be made. The voting process has no time limits and may take as long as needed.

On Thursday, Judge Yuri Zhitnikov gave the jury three more hours to make a unanimous decision, citing Provision 36 adopted by the Russian Supreme Court in November 2005. According to the Supreme Court, if jurors ask the court for clarifications, they should be given another three hours so they could make a unanimous decision.

The Nemtsov murder trial started in October 2016, the parties picked 12 key jurors and ten alternates. On June 27, 2017, the judge removed two of the jury members. One female juror was removed for withholding information about her husband’s criminal record, while another juror was removed for coming to the deliberation room carrying notes concerning the case, which had not been considered by the court.

Nemtsov murder case

Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister under then-President Boris Yeltsin, co-chairman of the Parnas party and lawmaker of the Yaroslavl regional legislature, was gunned down in downtown Moscow on February 27, 2015. Five persons were arrested on March 8 last year on suspicion of murdering the politician: Zaur Dadayev, Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev who are believed to be the perpetrators of this criminal action.

Depending on their role and the degree of their involvement, they are pressed with 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, Ruslan Mukhudinov, a former officer of the Chechen Sever (or North), is the organizer of the murder. Mukhudinov was charged in absentia. He has been on the international wanted list since November 2015.