Boris Nemtsov killing: Daughter says Vladimir Putin is 'politically' responsible for her opposition leader father's death

Zhanna Nemtsova said her father was killed for political reasons

Antonia Molloy
Thursday 12 March 2015 12:21
Zhanna Nemtsova said she cannot remain silent after her father's murder
Zhanna Nemtsova said she cannot remain silent after her father's murder

The daughter of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition politician shot dead in Moscow last month, has said Russian President Vladimir Putin must bear some of the blame for her father's murder.

Zhanna Nemtsova said that Putin was "politically" responsible for Nemtsov's death outside the Red Square on 27 February.

"I don’t have evidence, but politically he is responsible," she said.

During an interview in Italy she told BBC Newsnight: "He [Nemtsov] was a critic of Putin. He fought with Putin – with nobody else."

The 30-year-old financial journalist said that her father's death was politically motivated – and his passing had left a vacuum.

"He was the most prominent critic of Putin. He was the most powerful leader of the opposition of Russia," she said.

"After his death the opposition is beheaded and everybody is frightened.

"Now we do not have any other figure so powerful... with so much expertise and experience to confront the officials."

She added that she could now be regarded as a "political activist" and would not remain silent.

Nemstov, 55, was shot four times in the back as he walked across the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge with his girlfriend shortly after 11pm.

Putin has said that he believes the murder was politically motivated but has strongly denied any involvement.

Five ethnic Chechens have been arrested in relation to the crime and two of these, Zaur Dadayev and Anzor Gubashev, have been charged with Nemstov's murder.

However, a member of Russia's human rights commission has alleged that at least three of the suspects had been tortured.

Human rights activist Andrew Babushkin told the Associated Press that Dadaev, the main suspect in the killing, had abrasions on his body when he visited him at Moscow's Lefortovo prison on Tuesday.

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