Daughter of slain Putin foe Nemtsov speaks out

Mar 12, 2015, 1:20 AM EDT
People continue to place flowers at the bridge, where Boris Nemtsov killed and next to Kremlin, all day long on March 10, 2015 in Moscow, Russia.
AFP/Getty Images

A daughter of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says Vladimir Putin must bear responsibility for his murder.

Zhanna Nemtsova told the BBC she believed the Russian president was "politically" to blame. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and veteran liberal politician, was shot dead on 27 February while walking with his girlfriend near the Kremlin.

Putin has condemned the murder and vowed to find the killers. Speaking to the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse, Ms Nemtsova echoed previous claims made by her father's allies that his killing was politically motivated.

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

The 30-year-old, who is a stock market analyst and TV presenter at a financial channel in Moscow, said she had not been contacted by Russian investigators because they were "not interested in an independent investigation".

Officials have yet to cite a motive for Nemtsov's murder.

Meanwhile, a former law enforcement officer charged with involvement in the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says he was forced to confess to the killing, writes The Guardian.

Zaur Dadayev, who was the deputy commander of the north interior ministry battalion in Russia’s restive Chechnya republic, was detained in neighbouring Ingushetia and charged with the murder in Moscow this weekend.

During a court hearing to place him under arrest, a Moscow judge said he had admitted the crime.

The Rosbalt news agency later reported that Dadayev had told investigators he killed Nemtsov because of the politician’s allegedly negative statements about Islam, quoting unnamed law enforcement sources.

Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s strongman leader, said in an Instagram post on Sunday that Dadayev had been “shocked” by the support for the Charlie Hebdo journalists killed in Paris over caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.

But members of a prisoners’ rights monitoring group that visited Dadayev and two other suspects in Moscow’s Lefortovo detention centre on Tuesday allegedly found evidence that the confession had been forced.