In Russia Prosecutors ask jurors to find accused Nemtsov killers guilty

Russian state prosecutors on Thursday asked jurors to return guilty verdicts against five men accused of killing prominent Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov in 2015, wrapping up their arguments in a trial that began last October.

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A woman lays flowers in Moscow at the site where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead to mark the second anniversary of his assassination in February 2017 play

A woman lays flowers in Moscow at the site where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead to mark the second anniversary of his assassination in February 2017

(AFP/File)
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Russian state prosecutors on Thursday asked jurors to return guilty verdicts against five men accused of killing prominent Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov in 2015, wrapping up their arguments in a trial that began last October.

"After analysing all the collected evidence, you will arrive at the undisputed conclusion that these five are implicated in the murder," prosecutor Maria Semenenko told the court in Moscow.

Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, was gunned down on the evening of February 27, 2015, as he walked across a bridge from the Kremlin.

The five accused have been identified as Zaur Dadayev, Shadid and Anzor Gubashev, Bemirlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev, all from the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya or Ingushetia.

Investigators say the men were contacted by a Chechen security official named Ruslan Mukhudinov who offered 15 million rubles (about $270,000 or 237,000 euros at current rates) for the murder.

Mukhudinov has since fled and is still being sought by police.

But defence lawyers, who are set to begin making their arguments at the trial soon, said the prosecution's case is based solely on hypotheses.

"We're at the end of the hearings, and the case has once again proven the obvious: the reasons behind this crime have not been discovered," said Vadim Prokhorov, a lawyer for Nemtsov's family.

His supporters claim that associates of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov -- or Kadyrov himself -- are behind the killing, but requests by defence lawyers to question the Chechen leader have been rejected.

"The court has carefully avoided all our questions, all our attempts to find the people who ordered this which point... to Ramzan Kadyrov, or even higher," Prokhorov said.

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