The European Court of Human Rights condemns Russia over investigation into Nemtsov murder

Tributes to Boris Nemtsov
Tributes to Boris Nemtsov Copyright Alexander Zemlianichenko/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Philip Andrew Churm with AFP
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The European Court of Human Rights has strongly criticised Russia over its investigation into the murder of Putin opponent, Boris Nemtsov in 2015.


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Russia for failing to conduct an adequate and effective investigation into the 2015 murder in Moscow of Boris Nemtsov, one of Vladimir Putin's main opponents.

Nemtsov was shot four times at close range on a bridge near to the Kremlin on 27 February 2015.  The case was brought before the court by his daughter Zhanna.

The Court, on 11 July, found the Russian authorities did not adequately investigate the identity of the persons who had organised and ordered the assassination. Nor did they examine the allegations of political motivation or involvement of State actors.

Five suspects were arrested after the murder and a sixth was killed while being questioned. Following their trial in July 2017, these five men from the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia, in the Russian Caucasus, were sentenced to between 11 and 20 years in prison for the murder.

One of the suspects had claimed the murder was a reaction to Mr Nemtsov's support for the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, before retracting his statement, explaining that he had given this version under duress.

However, Boris Nemtsov's family condemned what it called the "total fiasco" on the part of the Russian justice system, which failed to identify the true instigator of the murder.

The ECHR notes that the part of the investigation aimed at discovering the identity of the mastermind and any links with Ramzan Kadyrov's Chechen authorities was separated from the case against the five main suspects. 

This part of the investigation is still officially underway.

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