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Two Men Charged Over Nemtsov's Murder, Opposition Fear Scapegoating

Two men from Russia’s southern region of the North Caucasus, have been detained, according to FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, suspected of the murder of Boris Nemtsov. As Reuters reports, The Investigative Committee, the state body leading the investigation, named the two men as Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, and said they were "involved in the organization and execution of the killing," of Nemtsov. Opposition politicians fear scapegoating once again as past high-profile killings in Russia have led to people being jailed for pulling the trigger - often hired hitmen from the Caucasus - while investigators have failed to track down those who ordered the assassinations.

 

 

As Reuters reports,

Two suspects have been detained over the killing of Boris Nemtsov, Russian officials said, a week after he was shot dead near the Kremlin in the most high-profile killing of an opposition figure in years.

 

The Investigative Committee, the state body leading the investigation, named the two men as Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the detentions, officials said.

 

"The individuals detained are, according to our investigation, involved in the organization and execution of the killing of Boris Nemtsov," the committee said in a statement.

 

Russian state-controlled media reported the two were from the Caucasus, a violent and impoverished region on Russia's southern flank. They were expected to be formally arrested at a court hearing in Moscow on Sunday, the reports said.

Associates of the 55-year-old Nemtsov said they would only be satisfied when whoever masterminded the killing was behind bars, not just the people who carried it out.

Past high-profile killings in Russia have led to people being jailed for pulling the trigger -- often hired hitmen from the Caucasus -- while investigators have failed to track down those who ordered the assassinations.

 

"I want to believe that these ones are really the ones who conducted (the killing) and that once in a while law enforcement worked professionally and detained real assassins, and did not make a mistake," Ilya Yashin, the co-chairman of Nemtsov's party, said of the two suspects.

 

"The key task for investigators is to find and prosecute the ones who ordered this murder. If everything ends with the detention of scapegoats, irrespective of whether they are the real assassins or not, the practice of political assassinations will continue with no doubt."

 

...

 

People from the Caucasus have been named as suspects in other assassinations, including those of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist critical of the Kremlin, in 2006 and of Paul Klebnikov, a U.S. citizen and journalist with the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, in 2004.

Politkovskaya's supporters say the Chechens sentenced for her killing were low-level foot soldiers, and that investigators failed to find out who was behind her murder.

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