Russia to indict 5 in Boris Nemtsov's killing

Story highlights

  • Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken critics, was shot in the back
  • One recanted his confession
  • Another says he has an alibi

Moscow (CNN)Russia will indict five people in the killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken critics.

The five will be charged Tuesday with "a contract murder committed by an organized group and the acquisition, transport and storage of illegal firearms," the Russian Investigative Committee said.
    Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken critics, was shot in the back on a Moscow bridge as he walked with his girlfriend near the Kremlin in February 27.
    Surveillance video showed someone darting from the sidewalk and into a nearby car right after Nemtsov collapsed.
    After his death, Putin condemned the killing and ordered three law enforcement agencies to investigate.
    The five suspects have been identified as Zaur Dadayev, Anzor Gubashev and Shadid Gubashev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev.
    Dadayev, who confessed to the killing, told two members of Russia's human rights council that he pleaded guilty after being detained because he was scared. He said he had been tortured and the well-being of his family and friends were threatened.
    Eskerkhanov says he has an alibi.
    "At the time of the murder, I was at work as I usually am every day. There are many people, my colleagues, who will confirm this," Russia's Sputnik News quoted Eskerkhanov as saying.
    Authorities said those charged are from the southern region of the North Caucasus, which for years has been a hotbed of unrest and rebellion against Moscow.
    A sixth suspect, Beslan Shavanov, blew himself up after a standoff with police in the capital of the Chechen Republic in March, state-run television reported.
    After Nemtsov's shooting Putin blamed extremists and protesters who he said were trying to stir internal strife in Russia.
      Many opposition sympathizers and people close to Nemtsov have pointed the finger at Putin and the Russian government he leads. They note that Nemtsov -- the deputy prime minister under former President Boris Yeltsin -- was among several Putin's opponents who have been killed or imprisoned.
      Nemtsov had also been arrested several times for speaking against the government.