Witness to Nemtsov murder to be summoned for police lineup – newspaper

Boris Nemtsov file photo

MOSCOW. Apr 1 (Interfax) – Detectives investigating the murder of politician Boris Nemtsov intend to summon a main witness to his murder, Nemtsov’s Ukrainian girlfriend Hanna Durytska, for a police lineup, the newspaper Izvestia wrote on Wednesday.

“Durytska made the acquaintance of Nemtsov three years ago and they stayed together almost all the time in the recent period, so she might remember the killer or people who appeared near him even sporadically, for instance, in a cafe or near his house. So, she is planned to participate in a police lineup: all the arrested men will be shown to her and she may remember or identify some of them,” a source in the law enforcement authorities told the newspaper.

It is still unknown where the procedure may be arranged, either in Moscow or in Kyiv. Durytska returned to Ukraine with her lawyer and promised to be cooperative. Yet she told the local police already on March 5 that she was receiving threats from unknown persons. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin ordered security services to tighten protection of the young woman.

“Indeed, the detectives are supposed to arrange a police line procedure for the main witness. The detectives can summon the witness to Moscow or visit a foreign country. Such practices are quite frequent. For instance, detectives investigating the murder of Anna Politkovskaya visited other countries to question witnesses. As a rule, foreign citizens are interviewed on the premises of a Russian embassy,” lawyer Alexei Mikhalchik told Izvestia.

There may be another way to hold investigative procedures if Durytska refuses to appear in Moscow for a police lineup.

“Russia and Ukraine still have a legal assistance agreement. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office may request Ukrainian colleagues for help. In that case, a local detective may interview the witness or perform the procedure in absentia. Russian detectives may be present there too,” Mikhalchik said.

The lawyer of the Nemtsov family and Durytska, Vadim Prokhorov, declined to disclose details of the upcoming lineup procedure. He said he had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The legal defense of the suspects said their clients were not afraid to meet Durytska because they were not involved in the crime.

“Zaur Dadyev is ready to face Durytska and he is not afraid of the police lineup because he has no relation to the murder of Nemtsov,” Dadayev’s lawyer Ivan Gerasimov told Izvestia.

In his words, the lineup must be held in Moscow. If the detectives use photographs, there may be mistakes and results of the procedure may be challenged.

The lawyer of another suspect, Shadid Gubashev, has a similar opinion.

“I think that not only my client but also all the others are not afraid of the lineup because there is no one to identify – they are not involved in that murder,” lawyer Ilya Trofimov told the newspaper.