Ilya Yashin, a close ally of murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, says he is “totally skeptical” that the two men charged organized his killing.
“The trigger man will be blamed, while those who actually ordered the killing will go free,” Ilya Yashin, co-founder of Boris Nemtsov’s party, said on March 8.
Ilya Yashin’s comments came after two men of Chechen origin were charged with his murder and three others arrested.
He rejected suggestions radical Islamists were behind the murder.
“The investigators’ nonsensical theory about Islamist motives in the killing suits the Kremlin and takes [President Vladimir] Putin out of the firing line,” Ilya Yashin said on Twitter.
On March 8, a court in Moscow charged Zaur Dadayev and Anzor Gubashev with shooting Boris Nemtsov on a bridge near the Kremlin on January 27. Zaur Dadayev had admitted his involvement, the court said.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, described Zaur Dadayev as a devout Muslim who was shocked by cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“All who know Zaur [Dadayev] confirm that he is a deep believer and also that he, like all Muslims, was shocked by the activities of Charlie and comments in support of printing the cartoons,” he said.
Along with other Russian politicians and activists, Boris Nemtsov had condemned the killing of 12 journalists at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by Islamist extremists.
Boris Nemtsov also criticized threats made by the Chechen leader towards those who did not condemn cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo.
Ramazan Kadyrov had declared former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky his “personal enemy” for urging other papers to republish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. He had also said Ekho Mosvky editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov “would be called to account” after his station’s website ran a poll on whether media should publish similar cartoons.
This prompted Boris Nemtsov to accuse Ramazan Kadyrov of violating Russia’s Criminal Code by infringing journalists’ activities.
“Everybody is already sick and tired of Ramzan’s threats, but he is certain that [President Vladimir] Putin will not let anyone touch him, so he is growing increasingly brazen every day,” Boris Nemtsov wrote on his Facebook page in January.
However, Ilya Yashin said he did not believe Boris Nemtsov’s killers were from outside Russia, calling his murder “an act of terror to scare society”.
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