Russia Update: Nemtsov’s Daughter Files Complaint on Failure to Interrogate Kadyrov

August 21, 2015
Lone protester on "Nemtsov Bridge" near the Kremlin. Photo by Lyubov Sergeyeva

Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, has filed a complaint against the refusal of the Investigative Committee to interrogate Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and other Chechen officials in the case of the murder of her father.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

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Nemtsov’s Daughter Files Court Complaint on Failure of Investigators to Interrogate Kadyrov in Murder Case

Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, has filed a complaint against the refusal of the Investigative Committee to interrogate Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and other Chechen officials in the case of the murder of her father, reports.

Vadim Prokhorov, Zhanna’s lawyer, told reporters that the complaint was filed at Moscow’s Basmanny Court.

The complaint protests the refusal of Igor Krasnov, head of the investigative group, to interrogate Kadyrov as well as Adam Delimkhhanov, a deputy of the State Duma and relative of Kadyrov’s, along with Alibek Delimkhanov, commander of the Sever Battalion and his nephew, along with Vakha Geremeyev, chief of police in Shelkovsky District and Suleyman Geremeyev, senator from Chechnya in the Federation Council or upper chamber of Russia’s parliament.

The Sever Battalion, founded by the father of Ramzan Kadyrov, is part of what is often described as his “personal army” but which are formally part of the Interior Ministry branch in Chechnya.

All of these powerful and influential figures are believed to have ties to the chief murder suspect in the case, Zaur Dadayev, an officer in the Sever Battalion. Yet since the murder of Nemtsov on the night of February 27, 2015, only the alleged trigger man, Dadayev and 4 of his accomplices have been arrested, and authorities have let Ruslan Geremeyev, widely believed to have organized the murder, slip out of the country, reportedly to the UAR.

Officials have not had a formal statement to make on the investigation since March 5, and the original head of investigation, known for prosecuting BORN, the ultranationalists convicted of murder, was replaced by Krasnov.

Prokhorov commented (translation by The Interpreter):

“The investigation has obtained significant achievements in establishing the perpetrators but there is total uncertainty about the contractors and organizers of the murder. There is an entire number of witness testimonies about the personal threats of Ramzan Kadyrov against Boris Nemtsov, there are a number of publications, there are the complains of Boris Nemtsov himself to [FSB head Aleksandr] Bortnikov.”

Kadyrov said in April that he was prepared to give testimony in the case but the Investigative Committee has not taken him up on his offer. In late July, Kadyrov also said Ruslan Geremeyev was prepared to be interrogated by the Investigative Committee, but doubted it was worth it.

Zhanna Nemtsov left Russia in June, citing threats and fear for her safety. She said the Kremlin had “political responsibility” for the murder.

A group of Nemtsov’s colleagues and supporters have been maintaining a vigil at the unofficial memorial made for him on Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Kremlin’s walls. City authorities or police have repeatedly removed flowers, letters and candles, and also told the supporters that the Russian flag cannot be used in such fashion.

Lena Hades, an artist, has maintained an “art marathon” since last month and has also had her art works removed. She replaces the sketches of Nemtsov as fast as they are confiscated.

In this photo on her Facebook Page , Hades points out all the surveillance cameras on the Kremlin tower that could have captured the scene of Nemtsov’s murder, which authorities have not released.

2015-08-21 16:56:47

This week five activists who had maintained the vigil on the bridge were
picked up by officers of E Center (the Interior Ministry’s department
for “extremism”) in Izmailovo Park on August 19. They were first told
they would be tried immediately but then the hearing was postponed and
they were held overnight in jail awaiting a court appearance. Yesterday
the hearing was postponed once again and it is not clear whether they
will be charged with holding an unauthorized protest or not.

2015-08-21 16:57:27

Photo by Lyubov Sergeyeva.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick