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Murder of the opponent Russian Nemtsov: all five accused convicted

A Russian court has convicted five men of murdering Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.Prosecutors said the men committed the crime because they were promised 15 million rubles ($254,000).Nemtsov was shot dead on a bridge outside the Kremlin at about midnight on February 27, 2015, when he was strolling with Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya. Four others acted as their accomplices.All the defendants pleaded not guilty and said their earlier testimony, in which they confessed to organizing or aiding in the killing of Nemtsov, was extracted under pressure.Lawyers for his family said they were convinced that all of the accused, with the exception of Bakhayev, were involved.Former deputy prime minister Mr Nemtsov, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead just metres from the Kremlin as he walked home at night with his girlfriend in February 2015.In an interview with VOA on June 29, Nemtsov’s eldest daughter Zhanna Nemtsova said the trial failed to name the organizers of the crime or their motive.”The investigators and then the court did everything possible to prevent the establishment of a motive because it was obvious to everyone in Russian Federation, as well as to people in Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world that this was a political murder”, Nemtsova told VOA.One of the most recognizable leaders of Russia’s marginalized and fractured Liberal Democrats, Nemtsov criticized Putin in a series of analytical reports detailing the president’s alleged corruption and his coterie of former security agents and personal friends who now serve as top government officials or heads of major companies.