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Unpaid parking space turns out to be key clue leading to capture of Nemtsov’s killers

The investigators found that the suspects were tailing Nemtsov and watching his movements for a month and a half

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. An unpaid parking space for a car owned by the murder suspects of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov turned out to be a decisive clue for investigators in proving their guilt, Russian Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said on Thursday.

"The investigators found that the suspects were tailing Nemtsov and watching his movements for a month and a half," the spokeswoman said in the wake of a verdict passed on all the five defendants in the case.

"And these facts are fully corroborated by the evidence gathered. For example, when stalking (Nemtsov), the suspects tried to avoid fines for parking their ZAZ car. But in several instances, they all the same left it without paying a fee within the paid urban parking zone near Nemtsov’s place of residence," the Investigative Committee spokeswoman said. 

Detectives have also thoroughly studied footage from CCTV cameras, which together with the eyewitnesses’ testimony and other evidence confirm that the suspects were familiar with each other and gathered at a certain place both before and after the crime.

According to the Investigative Committee spokeswoman, detectives have fully reconstructed the chronological events on the day of Nemtsov’s murder. At about 11:00 on February 27, 2015, Zaur Dadayev arrived together with Anzor Gubashev and Shavanov at Nemtsov’s place of residence on Malaya Ordynka Street in order to stalk him and for his possible assassination.

As Nemtsov walked out of the GUM Department Store in downtown Moscow together with his acquaintance Anna Duritskaya and went towards his house, Shavanov and Gubashev signaled Dadayev and at about 23:31 Moscow time Dadayev fired at least 6 shots at Nemtsov on the pedestrian path of the Big Zamoskvoretsky Bridge.

Further on, Mukhudinov, Shadid Gubashev, Eskerkhanov, Bakhayev and other persons helped three accomplices in Nemtsov’s murder hide from law enforcement and flee from Moscow as quickly as possible, the spokeswoman said.

The investigators’ version was confirmed by cumulative evidence, including the results of genetic, biological and trace expert examinations, and also the thorough examination of video records.

Thus, the results from the genetic expert studies confirmed the presence of the suspects’ biological material in the ZAZ car. Specifically, the biological material found on the bottle with cranberry jelly left in the ZAZ car belonged to one of the suspects, Gubashev. The investigators also found that the cranberry jelly was bought not far from Nemtsov’s place of residence and the trace expert studies confirmed the presence of the shot traces on the hands and the body of Zaur Dadayev.

Shavanov's criminal prosecution ended in November 2015, when the suspect blew himself up during an attempt to detain him in Grozny. Ruslan Mukhudinov has been on an international wanted list.

Court’s verdict

Moscow’s District Military Court found all five of the defendants guilty of murdering Russian politician Boris Nemtsov and handed them 11- to 20-year sentences in a maximum-security penal colony. The decision was made by Judge Yury Zhitnikov based on the jury’s guilty verdict.

That being said, the final sentence for the defendants is as follows: Dadayev received 20 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 rubles ($1,659), Anzor Gubashev - 19 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 rubles; Shadid Gubashev - 16 years behind bars and a fine of 100,000 rubles, Temirlan Eskerkhanov - 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 rubles, and Khamzat Bakhayev - 11 years behind bars and a fine of 100,000 rubles. Eskerkhanov will be stripped of his ensign military rank, while Dadayev will be stripped of his lieutenant military rank and the Order of Courage.