About the Investigation into Boris Nemtsov’s murder

On 27 February 2015, a Russian opposition leader, prominent political and public figure Mr. Boris Nemtsov was killed next to the Kremlin in central Moscow. 

The authorities instituted criminal proceedings in view of a contract killing by group, an offence punishable under Article 105 § 2 of the Criminal Code of Russia. Zhanna, the daughter of Boris Nemtsov, joined the criminal proceedings as a victim. She is represented be lawyers Vadim Prokhorov and Olga Mikhaylova (both used to be the lawyers of Boris Nemtsov).

A few days after the assassination, early in March 2015, five suspects were apprehended, all of them coming from Chechnya and being close to the entourage of Ramzan Kadyrov. Mr. Zaur Dadayev, directly suspected of Boris Nemtsov’s murder, was an army officer who served in Battalion Sever, a unit of the Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs stationed in Chechnya, which is absolutely loyal to the President of Chechnya, Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov. The Internal Troops in general are headed, at the federal level, by General Viktor Zolotov, a former FSB officer who is close to Putin, used to head the Russian President’s security service and is a close friend of Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov.

No other suspects have been arrested ever since; no sponsors or organizers of the killing have been identified either. The five arrestees from Chechnya have been charged with the perpetration of the contract killing. Obviously, they had no reasons of their own to remove the Russian opposition leader.

On April 22 the lawyers of Zhanna Nemtsova requested a number of investigative actions, including the questioning of Ramzan Kadyrov. The head of the investigative group refused to do so. And the Russian court where the lawyers challenged the refusal also declined the application. Although at the same time that the governor of Yaroslavl region, where Nemtsov served as a member of regional parliamant, Sergei Yastrebov was questioned by investigators in first weeks after the murder without any special requests from the lawyers.

There is certain evidence in the case-file that the assassination was organized, among other individuals, by Mr. Ruslan Geremeev, an officer who belongs to Battalion Sever and to the inner circle of Ramzan Kadyrov, a close relative of several high-ranking officials from Chechnya. The authorities have failed to interrogate him, put on the wanted list or bring any charges against him. We are sure that Geremeev receives cover-up from Kadyrov in Chechnya. Only in November after numerous publications in Russian and international media the Investigation Committee of Russia claimed that they prosecuted Geremeev’s friend and former driver Ruslan Muhudinov. But Geremeev, who was named by arrested persons and some witnesses, is still free and not officially prosecuted.

The Investigation Committee refused to recognize the murder of Boris Nemtsov as the “Infringement on the Life of the State or Public Figure”- there is a special article no. 277 for this crime in the Russian Criminal Code. Thus the Russian authorities don’t want to recognize that Boris Nemtsov was killed for his political and social activities and for his anti-Putin position. The domestic courts have rejected our application on that matter.

Furthermore, the investigating authority refused to grant victim status to the PARNAS party , where Nemtsov was one of co-Presidents.

The lawyers keep on claiming in court the investigators are doing nothing. On the 27th of August the claim on this case was submitted to the European Court of human rights.